Rehearsing the Future in the Personal-Experience Narrative

Research output: Contribution to conferenceUnpublished paper


In ‘Rehearsing the Future in the Folktale’ (New York Folklore, 1985), Bill Nicolaisen considers notions of absentation, unpreparedness, and fear in the lives of folktale protagonists. He examines how these states, as well as more plot-related obstacles, can and must be overcome by carefully rehearsing the future. Before discussing how the future relates to folktale protagonists, Bill briefly discusses the future and ‘us’, that is, people of everyday life. Though far removed from the ahistorical, acartographical worlds of the folktale, Bill indicates that considering and rehearsing the future is also key to our lives, as we confront and attempt to cope with the obstacles and opportunities ahead. For immigrants around the world, notions of the future are paramount to the stories they tell about their lives, their fears, and their aspirations. Framing my discussion on Bill’s investigations into time and space, I will discuss how and why the future is narrated and rehearsed in the personal-experience narratives of immigrants to Scotland.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusUnpublished - 26 Jul 2017
EventW. F. H. Nicolaisen Memorial Symposium - Aberdeen, United Kingdom
Duration: 24 Jul 201727 Jul 2017


ConferenceW. F. H. Nicolaisen Memorial Symposium
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


  • temporality
  • migration


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