Narrative, Identity, and the City

Raul P. Lejano, Alicia P. Lejano, Josefina D. Constantino, Aaron J.P. Almadro, Mikaella Evaristo
  • January 2018, John Benjamins
  • DOI: 10.1075/fillm.8

Narrative, Identity, and the City: Filipino stories of dislocation and relocation

What is it about?

Raul P. Lejano offers a boldly original synthesis of narratology, psychology, and human geography. This helps him articulate his two main insights: that our identity as individuals, though not completely determined by sociocultural factors, nevertheless profoundly reflects our embeddedness in particular places; and that the way we think of, or would like to think of, our own identity is most readily captured in the stories we tell about ourselves. Chapters include specially written essays by co-authors, Alicia Lejano, Josefina Constantino, Aaron Almadro, and Mikaella Evarist.

Why is it important?

Most revealing of all, he suggests, are our stories about coming to grips with an entire city, especially when our experience of it is actually one of dislocation or relocation – when we in some sense or other “lose” a city to which we have hitherto belonged, or when we “find” a new one.


Aaron James Almadro
University of the Philippines System

By way of illustration the book includes four specially commissioned autobiographical stories by writers of Filipino origin, which Lejano’s analytical chapters compare and contrast with each other within his interdisciplinary frame of reference. At once learnedly sophisticated and readably empathetic, his commentaries are underpinned by a basically phenomenological orientation, which leads him to view human individuals as essentially relational beings, naturally inclined to enter into dialogue with both their fellow-creatures and the larger environment.

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The following have contributed to this page: Mikaella Evaristo, Aaron James Almadro, and Raul Lejano