Overall, I liked the read from Galen Strawson, however I didn’t agree with the point he was trying to get across. His claim was that he believes “it’s false that everyone stories themselves and false that it’s always a good thing.” I immediately disagreed with this because unless you’re writing about someone else, you’re always incorporating pieces of your past experiences in your writing. If an author writes a book on a child that was hit by their parents and ran away from home, there’s a good chance that either they know someone in their own world who’s gone through something similar or else they were the ones that went through that and the fictional character that they’re creating is actually a representation of themselves. Even those who chose to write about someone else such as a historic figure, has probably gone through something in their lives that they can relate to this figure, hence the reason the author chose to write about them. I feel that it is always a good thing to narrate yourself because if you don’t, then you’re basically choosing to bottle up all your emotions which could lead to a more harmful way of expressing them.
He also tries claiming that if a writer “were a free man” and “could write what he chose” based on “work upon his own feeling,” then there would be “no plot, no comedy, no tragedy, no love interest or catastrophe in the accepted style” which doesn’t make a lot of sense because the entire purpose of writing a story that is based off of something you’ve been through isn’t just to teach someone a bunch of facts about something, but rather to invoke them with a sense of emotion based upon your life. For example, if you write a self-narrative about how you got in a car accident and lost complete function of your body, but managed to survive and make the best out of your life with what you still had left of yourself, that completely contradicts anything that Strawson tries to claim when he states that there’s no plot or emotion to self-narrating stories.
He says “people always remember their own pasts in a way that puts them in a good light, but it’s just not true.” However, the entire point of looking back on your life isn’t to try and formulate how you could have done something differently, but rather to look at the bright side and reflect how you got to where you are now based on those past events. The best cure to any mental health issue is simply to make the best out of what you have rather than dwelling on possible mistakes that you made which are impossible to fix now. If you “line up these objects of reverence before you” then you’ll be able to shape your identity rather than living in the present or worrying about the future. Use the times of your past to learn from any mistakes to make yourself a better person. “If at first you don’t succeed, try try again” which is something I feel as though even someone as uninformed as Galen Strawson could recognize and agree with.