Wellformedness in Alzheimer Interactions: Continuity Elements
In planning our days and our lives we are composing the stories or the dramas we will act out and which will determine the focus of our attention and our endeavors, which will provide the principles for distinguishing foreground from background . . . . We are constantly explaining ourselves to others. And finally each of us must count himself among his own audience since in explaining ourselves to others we are often trying to convince ourselves as well.
-- David Carr ( 1985)
The previous chapter looked at how stanzas allowed one to assess narrative wellformedness while certain kinds of continuity elements afforded insight into interactive wellformedness. In this chapter, I begin by considering how the narratives that Tina recounted to me at her home meet the wellformedness criteria established in this study. Her narratives and my interactions with her establish a kind of discourse yardstick by which to judge her talk in another setting (chap. 4) and with another audience (chap. 5). I then move into my larger data pool to examine how the positioning of particular utterances by both teller and audience in ongoing interactions serve different functions in the recalling process.
Before analyzing Tina's talk at home, I'd like to provide some ethnographic details about Tina's social world. These details provide a partial backdrop against which to locate her interactions with me and her husband, and serve