What is the Music of Storytelling in Denmark?

Today Peter Bastian, Denmark’s beloved musician, composer, and author and I, a storytelling theorists, will do a session at Copenhagen Business School on the the relation of Music and Storytelling. Peter will have his own answers, here I will blog to sort out my own. Anders Kryger, from CBS and MAN Diesel and Turbo, will moderate and ask us each questions. I will give examples from Diesel House and Ragnarök Rock Musi Museum to illustrate the relation of Music and Storytelling.

Question: What is Storytelling?

Of course you know, there are as many ways of defining storytelling as there are storytelling writers (Boje, 2014).  To get at the relation of music and storytelling, I chose a definition from Gertrude Stein, a friend of the surrealists, who wrote in a very musical way in books and plays.

Gertrude Stein (1931: 33) asks, “what is a story?” and replies, a story is “wild and while”, in the continuous present, with many ways of telling that are very telling.

Storytelling is the many ways of telling and not telling something that are very telling. Storytelling is different in different places, times, and matters. Storytelling is dialogical and dialectical to other ways of telling stories that are different from ways of telling grand narratives, and how the narratives are always imprisoning our living stories in one kind of dead plot or another, as if our living stories do not matter at all. I study storytelling organizations  (Boje, 1991, 1995, 2008) that have many ways of telling and not telling everything that are very telling about strategy, design, history, the future, the ecology, and anything, even music is a way of storytelling that has many ways of musical storytelling that are very telling.

So here in a minute of how a thing tells its story musically, by its rhythms, is the relation of music to storytelling in the place, the time, and the mattering of a ‘storytelling organization called ‘Diesel House‘ that sometimes, such as on this 10th anniversary is quite a musical thing, when a thing is telling a story. I am also an amateur blacksmith. As a blacksmith I can actually hear the music, the material storytelling, as Anete Strand (2012) calls, because the Pistons pounding out a rhythmic refrain of iron and steel explosions of the diesel monster that is quite musical, and is being orchestrated by a smith or two, for an audience, and now shared with you.

0:53 This is the music of the Diesel House monster, telling its story to those attuned to its music, it has ways of telling that are quite telling 

What is storytelling or https://youtu.be/tucUFd9Rc_g

Stein (1931, 1935, 1938) was first to break with Aristotelian narrative prison, in looking at here-and-now, and the unfolding present, at diverse landscape of telling (Boje & Durant, 2006). Stein’s work rejects development sequence retrospection and obsession with plot and narrative coherence. Her focus in 1935 series of three lectures against narrative given at University of Chicago on ways of telling in the moment, anticipates antenarrative in dialectical work, but is somehow different than dialogic ways of other storytelling writers.

Story emergence is opening a space in time to be aware of the continuous present. She locates story in-between teller and listener. In emergent storytelling, the hearer fills in blanks in-between-the-lines, the pauses and silences, with story lines, contexts, and implications. Stein argues, “Anybody can stop listening to any telling of anything” (Stein, Narration, Lecture 3, 1998: 340). Many ways of telling and listening to someone or something are telling (Stein, 1998: 342). And, “There are many ways to tell what we tell” (Stein, 1998: 340). She asks, “What is the use of telling a story since there are so many and everybody knows and tells so many… So naturally what I wanted to do in my plays was what everybody did not always know or always tell” (Stein, 1931: 40). Stein wrote over 70 plays developed her moves away from what she called lust for cohesion (Boje, 2014).


To me Storytelling is defined by rhythms of self-movements in a dialectical process as “World-Spirit” passes through various shapes in space, along a long passage of time, taking upon itself the “enormous labor of world-history”; embodied in the entire content of storytelling is the narrative reduction of living story movements into abbreviated and abstract emplotment “non longer existence in the form of being-in-itself”, no longer submerged in existence, now just “recollected in-itself” ready for use in conversation or writing in the form of “being-for-self” (Hegel, 1807: # 29).

Of course you can reduce this rhythmic movement in the world of spacetime to a simplistic deadening tragic emplotment in which storytelling loses its aliveness. Narratologists might reduce Diesel’s life this way, in ways of telling, that musically, are deadening.

Emplotments Deaden Living Storytelling

Tragic emplotment: Rudolf Christian Karl Diesel born in Pairs March 18, 1858 and committed suicide September 29 1913 on English Channel. “His hat and overcoat were discovered neatly folded beneath the afterdeck railing” (Wikipedia). There are some factoids that support tragic emplotment, the abstraction of this life to a simple schemata:

  • “He spent the next several years selling the patent rights to his engine. Quite successful at first, he was on paper a millionaire, but by 1899-1900 his luck changed” (source, p. 378).
  • “Shortly after Diesel’s disappearance, his wife Martha opened a bag that her husband had given to her just before his ill-fated voyage, with directions that it should not be opened until the following week. She discovered 200,000 German marks in cash ($1.2 Million USD today) and a number of financial statements indicating that their bank accounts were virtually empty.[8] In a diary Diesel brought with him on the ship, for the date 29 September 1913, a cross was drawn, indicating death” (IBID.).

There is always more to the story, stuff left on the editor’s cutting room floor, in ways that are very telling.  In 1885 Diesel began working on his Notion of spark-less combustion engine (source). In 1892, Diesel described the engine, and began to experiment with engine design for something higher in efficiency than the steam or gasoline engine.  “Diesel patented a design for his engine on February 28, 1892,; the following year, he explained his design in a paper called ‘Theory and Construction of a Rational Heat Engine to Replace the Steam Engine and Contemporary Combustion Engine'” (source).

Diesel established a unity of his talent with the nature of the matter in hand, that compelled an interfusion of being and action” (Hegel, 1807: #401).  the matter in hand was a fight against the steam engine. “Diesel thought his small, efficient engine would help industry decentralize and restore the small craftsman to the position he had lost because of the steam engine” (p. 377, source).

  • “But the actual means and the real transition are the unity of talent with the nature of the matter in hand, present in that interest: talent represents in the means the side of action, interest the side of content; both are individuality itself, as an interfusion of being and action” (Hegel, 1807: #401).

The first experiment failed in 1893, but in 1894 a diesel injection system, proved successful. the forerunner of MAN Diesel and Turbo gave Diesel financing for his experiments. “From 1893 to 1897, Heinrich von Buz, director of MAN AG in Augsburg, gave Rudolf Diesel the opportunity to test and develop his ideas…Rudolf Diesel obtained patents for his design in Germany and other countries, including the U.S. (U.S. Patent 542,846 and U.S. Patent 608,845)” (source Wikipedia). Compression of air produced heat, which ignites the fuel, and with an efficiency of 27% it was about 20% higher in efficiency that competing engines. The first models built under license in several countries by the turn of the century.  By 1912 the first ocean going diesel ship had been built. The first working model of Diesel’s invention was powered by peanut oil, part of his Utopian dream of a vegetable oil fuel source.

As Dialectical Storytelling consultant, one main challenge is to shift the unfolding path of the dialectical self-movement, its waves of motion, its Storytelling dialectic of liquidity and elasticity, the reflectivity of sensemaking dialectic to the introreflective organism so there is difference between bystander-consumer embedded in virtual world and answerable-citizen manifesting heart-of-care, in the once-occurrent event of Being-ness in Nature.  Coming from the epicenter overcoming limits of saying and writing so Dialectical Storytelling still has an excess of meaning beyond speaking and writing.

What is introreflective? “… this introreflected simplicity; the antithesis within it of universal and individual” (Hegel, 1807: # 298), You can see this in the dialectic of Diesel storytelling and the discourses of his time.

Question: When does Story[telling] have Structure and When does it not have it (and what of Retrospective sensemaking, the here and now, and prospective sensemaking)?

There are living stories that defy structure, but then again, there are fractal structures everywhere (Boje, 2015; Henderson & Boje, 2015; Boje & Henderson, 2014).

Some definitions: A fractal is defined as a pattern of self-similarity across scale levels, from micro to macro scales, and vice versa” (Boje, 2015: p. 15). In the context of storytelling and organizational development, such patterns can appear as temporally distinct recurrences of particular kinds of behaviors and interactions at multiple levels of analysis.Fractal narratives became popular in films such as Tron, The Matrix, Neurmancer, Dune, Star Wars, Star Trek, Avatar (something we develop much further in Henderson & Boje, 2015). A ‘fractal story’ is defined here as a web of fluid ‘living story’ interrelationships between urban-chaos and fractal-cyber-order that is centrifugal, veering away from order, toward anarchism, discontinuity, and the erratic, violent urbanism (Boje, in press). A 11 fractal story is a part of a web of more and more living stories, always in the middle, some with beginnings, the whole web-work, without end. 

“That I have invented the diesel engine is well and good, but my chief accomplishment is to have solved the social problem.” (Diesel, Diesel, pp. 373-74, cited p. 381, IBID.).

There is a microstoria here.

How Rudolf Diesel had an idea for a utopia, right in the middle of the industrial revolution that the steam engine had constituted, that the Diesel engine would drive into a global pattern.  But Diesel held out the possiblity that the working class and the middle class could close the gap between them, through his invention.

Rudolf Diesel wrote a book called Solidarity. “Solidarity was written in the firm conviction that the engineer, applying reason, could solve the pressing social problems of the time” (p. 379 Source http://www.leedugatkin.com/files/2214/1710/6957/Thomas.pdf

Rudolf Diesel was immersed the the rational, progressive discourse of late 19th century bourgeoisie. He substitute believe in science, technology, and progress for spiritual belief. He wanted to do something about the working class hostility to capitalism, but rejected Marxist ideas of class struggle, and was inspired by utopian socialist Saint-Simon who sought the creation of an “organic, integrated society” (p. 379). He was also inspired by sociologist Emile Durkheim, and politician Leon Bourgeois, in their solidarity writing, rooted in belief in the division of labor, and the compromise between liberalism and socialism. “Backed with statistics on the population and wealth of Germany and her various social classes, Diesel maintained that if all workers contributed a fixed weekly sum to a “people’s bank” (Volkskasse) they would in short order amass enough money to finance worker-controlled and run businesses and farms” (p. 380). The cooperative enterprises of solidarity would arise spontaneously with contracts binding people to them.

“Diesel spent a good deal of time reading and collecting notes for a small book which was published in 1903 under the title Solidarity: The Rational Economic Salvation of Mankind [Solidarismus: Natiirliche wirtschaftliche Erlosung des Menschen]”(source, p. 378)

  • “According to Eugen Diesel, his father left behind notes for a proposed book on the religion of reason in which all phenomena were traced back to scientific laws. Solidarity was written in the firm conviction that the engineer, applying reason, could solve the pressing social problems of the time” (IBID., p. 379).

There is a dialectic between the retrospective sensemaking and the prospective sensemaking.  We living in this Here and Now, but we retrospect and prospect to other Heres and other Nows. Some we directly experience, and others we rely on hear stories of others.   The answer to the question is the structures are dialectical, in a fluidity of space, time, and mattering..  There is also the reduction of all this diversity and plurality into the monologic of a plot, the deadening employment by the narratologists.  The aliveness of living story webs of entangled, embedded, and embodied spacetimemattering.

You can study this plural dialectical movement in the life of Rudolf Diesel working to overtake the steam engine, the sublation of diesel into all engines, into every industry, into all of global capitalism. Yet Diesel died not want his engine used in war, and was a pacifist, a Solidarity and utopian thinker, but then committee suicide.

Diesel, as his son Eugene writes, wanted a third way, called Solidarity, that was between Marxism and Capitalism. It is utopian storytelling, rooted in division of labor discourses of Durkheim, and late 19th century bourgeoisie.

I would answer that storytelling is fore-structuring of structure, and the deconstruction of structures that attempt to solidify, but Diesel’s logic of scientific engineering progress and rationality made Rational a Spirit.

Question: How does Story[telling] Emerge? Can you Give an Example of Antenarrative bet on the future?

Lets talk about the Rock Music Museum in Denmark. I went there on June 2nd. It is an amazing Storytelling Organization, and of course, at the heart of the relation of music and storytelling. It was renamed ‘Ragna Rock’ and the architecture, is a way of storytelling, that gets at the energy, rebellion, and ways of creating story emergence for the next generation of rock music stars.  Its an antenarrative bet on the future, that the youth culture will go to a museum, if it is designed with a kind of storytelling that they can step into.




Ragnarock is based on a Nordic folktale,Ragnarök. There was a battle between the gods and the underworld, resulting in a world apocalypse. The underworld ate the sun, but eventually the sun came out again, and the music of rock and roll continued. Loki, like the youth of Rock and Roll break free at the onset of Ragnarök (below art by Ernst H. Walther, 1897).

In Nordic mythology “Ragnarök is a series of future events, including a great battle, foretold to ultimately result in the death of a number of major figures (including the gods Odin, Thor, Týr, Freyr, Heimdallr, and Loki), the occurrence of various natural disasters, and the subsequent submersion of the world in water. Afterward, the world will resurface anew and fertile, the surviving and returning gods will meet, and the world will be repopulated by two human survivors. Ragnarök is an important event in the Norse canon, and has been the subject of scholarly discourse and theory” (source).

Rudolf Diesel also made his bet on the future, in fore-sight, that the Diesel engines are more efficient than Steam engines, and even gasoline engines. He placed bets on the future, but like my dad he did not have business sense. He was an entrepreneur, making diesel experiments, selling licenses for other to construct them. For example, he bet that diesel engines were not useful above 100 horsepower. His licensing scheme ended in failure, financially, but his engine Idea could colonize every industry on the planet. His bet on the future o f Solidarity of factory workers with the middle class in the Cathedral of Rationality, did not succeed. He did not foresee the transformation by the Diesel of global capitalism, the self-movement transformation of life on Earth.  The bet was realized in material substantive context, in the negativity … positing of existence and its “living movement” surpassing Diesel’s own wit ‘nous‘ (Hegel, 1807: #53).  His bet on the future, of the Solidarity of working class and middle class did not come to pass.

Question: How does Entropy/Syntropy and concentration of energy relate to storytelling performance? (to Quantum and agential cut in book Storytelling Organizational Practices: Managing in the Quantum Age).

In quantum the materiality, the thing tells a story. William James (1907: 98), the American Pragmatist, said “things tell a story.” Its not just people doing storytelling. Syntropy is result of Peter Bastian’s reading of Luigi Fantappiè, uniting quantum mechanics with special relativity. Syntropy is the result of retrospective causality, how systems are attracted not only to entropy, but to higher levels of order, in a universal movement process.

The agential cut is Karen Barad’s (2007) notion of where discourse places the duality cut. For me, its more a dialectical of a third working to mediate the first and second of the cut.

Rudolf Diesel sought to synthesize without realizing the ongoing rhythm of entropy and syntropy, thesis and antithesis, in the movement of negation of each negation, and out of each negation something positive taking place.

The Diesel engine substantively made its own agential cut, in the negation of the Steam engine. “Things tell a story!” There is a “coming-to-be of the object” in the “self-moving Notion: that takes the attractor of Diesel “back into itself” and becomes differentiated content outside of Rudolf Diesel’s agential cut, and this “negative belongs to the content itself” (Hegel, 1807: # 59).

The materiality is agential, and tell a story, like the rhythm of the Diesel in Diesel House.

Ragnarök has its own agential cut. That the youth culture after World War II had come out of the apocalypse of war, and were trying to fund the Sun again.  They wanted something new in dance, that became a demand for rock music. In the exhibits, one learns the vibrant energy, the lighting and the dancing and lots of psychedelic adventure came before the music. The Syntropy came before the music, called the music forth.

Me on June 2nd getting psychedelic at the Ragnarök Museum for Rock and Roll on June 2nd 2016

I work out an answer in COPE Storytelling. Following excerpts from Boje (2014) Dragon book. dragon book cover

COPE model

COPE Pragmatist-Storytelling (Please see Boje & Rosile’s Cancun Keynote 2014).

 There are quantum ways of storytelling that are very telling about the practical ways of telling and not telling.  These ways of quantum telling form paths within and between Critical, Ontological, Post-Positivistic, and Epistemic pragmatisms, COPE for short (Boje, 2014).


Path 1: Critical Pragmatic Storytelling is the path of observation that affects action.

The central thesis of Dewey’s (1929) Quest for Certainty is that uncertainty brought about a search for coherence, due to fear, and that substitute a fantasy for intervention into the underlying problem situation. Diesel’s search for coherence and deconstruction of Steam engine, its replacement by Diesel’s engine in the path of observation affecting action and being.

Path 2: Critical Pragmatic Storytelling is the path of interaction of inquiry the intervention of practical action with knowledge that affects habits of action of the situation.

John Dewey (1929) was a critical pragmatist. He no longer aligned with the epistemic idea of James, that regarded knowledge as a view, something a spectator did. Dewey would see what I call quantum storytelling as ‘interaction’ of knowledge, inquiry, and practice that changes the situation, by an observer effect. You see he read Werner Heisenberg’s (1927) Uncertainty Principle, aka Observer Effect, and took it quite seriously.

Example 1: Rudolf Diesel left the interaction of knowledge and practice experiments, and began to exalt Diesel activity for its own sake, as a means to an end to labor conflict, a way to integrate beyond Marxism and Capitalism, into a solidarity. Diesel engine became a means to and end, and not an end itself. But storytelling keeps interacting with “other natural interactions” (Dewey, 1929: p. 107).

Example 2: Ragnarök is a concentration of quantum energy, embedded in the design of the building, in the path through the exhibits that collapses waves of youth energy into exhibit after exhibit. One can make their way through the actual Tamara-land of rooms, each a different experience of Rock culture, Rock capitalism, Rock fan spect-actors, Rock inventions, and so on.  There are Critical  paths of Rock inquiry, that go against the way traditional museum design and exhibits would tell the story of Rock, and all this is very telling.

Path 3: Critical Pragmatic Storytelling is a path of inquiry that does not hold for all possible experiencers or circumstances.

“In arriving at statements which hold for all possible experiencers and observers under all possible varying individual circumstances we arrive at that which is most remote from any one concrete experience” (Dewey, p. 218).

Example: The problem for Diesel is his path of inquiry did not hold for all possible contingencies.

Example: Ragnarök holds the Rock experiencers and Rock observers in many possible circumstances, and they arrive in the most remote and some concrete experiences.


Path 4: Ontological Pragmatic Storytelling is a path of intelligently directed action.

Habitual action can loose sight of intelligent action. Dewey developed an ontologic path, “intelligently directed action” (p. 19) as an alternative to both epistemic and post-positivistic pragmatist paths. Intelligent action “takes cognizance of conditions, observes relations of sequence, and which plans and executes in the light of this knowledge” (ibid, p. 36). Dewey connected “knowing and doing” with “methods of inquiry’ (ibid, p. 36-7).

Example: Rudolf Diesel’s path of intelligently directed action took a detour. He no longer used inquiry to connect knowing and doing.

Example: Ragnarök path is one of intelligently directed action, in a telling in the place, time, and mind of youth culture, and some of us want to re-experience that, again, and again. I grew up in Rock music, I write and tell to its beat and tempo.

Path 5: Ontologic pragmatist storytelling takes a path beyond BME narratives to methods of inquiry that can find out about underlying material and social conditions

“Just as belief that a magical ceremony will regulate the growth of seeds to full harvest stifles the tendency to investigate natural causes and their workings, so acceptance of dogmatic rules as bases of conduct in education, morals and social matters, lessens the impetus to find out about the conditions which are involved in forming intelligent plans” (P. 40)

Example: Diesel fell into dogmatic rules, and could not find out about the natural causes of material and social conditions. How could MAN diesel and Turbo form an intelligent strategic plan without Diesel House?

Example: Ragnarök Rock Museum path tries to break out of BME narratives of traditional museums, but of course, it is a spiral-fractal and a triangle-fractal of self-similar design that is dialectic to those other more linear ways of designing a museum, and its all rather telling from an antenarrative approach to storytelling.  Going through the museum, as with the Diesel House, is all about material culture of these industries, the material conditions of labor, the socioeconomic conditions of a nation.

Path 6: Ontologic Pragmatic Storytelling goes beyond deductive reasoning to the acting in accord with estimates of possibilities of a situation.

Dewey, like Mead (1932) and Heidegger (1962) did not subscribe to linear clocktime, where past-present-future. Rather, Dewey’s path was ontology of the future having many possible courses of action that intelligent action could estimate. “A man is intelligent not in virtue of having reason which grasps first and indemonstrable truths about fixed principles, in order to reason deductively from them to the particulars which they govern, but in virtue of his capacity to estimate the possibilities of a situation and to act in accordance with his estimate” (ibid, p. 213). Like Arendt (1957) Being-in-the-world was about action taking, intervening to bring about democratic values.

Example: In this sense Rudolf Diesel did attempt to intervene in the politics of his day, to engage working conditions not with democratic values, but with the rationality of engineering and the utopian dogma of solidarity thinking of his epoch.

Example: Ragnarök Rock Museum path is estimating all kinds of possibilities for the Rock situation in Denmark. Its all about Denmark, and its relation to Global Rock culture, its music in pragmatic storytelling relation to the Global Rock Situation. Its beyond deductive, since Rock was inductive, from the ground of dance and light, into a demand for some new rebellious music, that went against the grain of global capitalism, and like all other rebellions was assimilated, became a money-maker for Rock industry, and Rock capitalism.


Path 7: Post-positivist pragmatic storytelling takes a middle path between rationalist and empiricist.

James favored pluralism and developed a critique of closed systems thinking, while specifying what we now call ‘open systems,’ thirty years before it came in use. James did however prefer the facts, in a post-positivist focus on pluralism rather than a search epistemic unity, such as the causal unity, purposive unity, influence unity, or aesthetic unity of early system unity thinkers of his time. Post-positivist pragmatic storytelling was initially about finding pluralism in what I call ‘systemicity.’ “Systemicity is what is unfinished, unfinalized, unmerged, and downright mysterious” about an “open system” never quite getting finished, finalized, merged or whole (Boje, 2008b: 98).

Example: Visits to Diesel House, seeing the storyboard of the history before MAN Diesel and Turbo acquired the Copenhagen B&W enterprise, is a trip through systemicities, the unfinished, the unfinalized, the unmerged and downright mysterious transformations of the enterprise. Carl Christian Burmeister (1821-1898) and William Wain (1819-1882), not the first owners, but significant nonetheless.  Look earlier to Baumgarten, then to Baumgarten & Burmeister, and after B&W to MAN Diesel and Turbow without B&W.

Example:  Ragnarök Rock Museum path is a systemicity of unfinished, and unfinalized spaces, left that way in the adjoining cement buildings, on purpose, leaving space for Rock to flourish in new exhibits, concerts, maker-spaces as new librarians call those spaces.

Path 8: Post-positivist pragmatic storytelling is the path of pluralism and diversity.

We will explore in the praxis chapter, how James anticipation of systemicity was pluralistic and diverse (e.g. between dogmatic and skeptical), and including in empiricist both materialistic and pluralistic). The ways, in which he sought to mediate between rationalist and empiricist extremes, meant sacrificed unity and wholeness. He wanted this path of pluralism in order to look at metaphysical disputes. “The pragmatic method is primarily a method of settling metaphysical disputes that otherwise might be interminable. Is the world one or many?–fated or free?–material or spiritual?” (James, 1907: 42).

Example: In terms of storytelling, James allowed that material things do tell a story. Diesel tells its story, the pluralistic and diverse mediations are interminable.

Example Ragnarök Rock Museum path is to settle metaphysical disputes about Rock music, in a storytelling privileging the Youth, but there are things for sale there, a material storytelling is always about capitalism, and Rock is no different, when you count the receipts, measure the magnitude of visitor counts.

Path 9: Post-positivist pragmatic storytelling includes a path where quantum things tell a story.

James says, “Things tell a story” in more technical langue, he is referring to a BME narrative, that has start, middle (climax) and a finish:

“Their parts hang together so as to work out a climax. They play into each other’s hands expressively. Retrospectively, we can see that altho no definite purpose presided over a chain of events, yet the events fell into a dramatic form, with a start, a middle, and a finish. In point of fact, all stories end” (James, 1907).

Living stories, in the middle, do not end. We will have more to say about this when we look at indigenous storytelling. What James does, that is ahead of his time, is give us a way to look at quantum storytelling. How things are actants, agents with agency in quantum storytelling. It becomes even more post-positivist storytelling when you move beyond physics of particles, to how in Barad’s (2007) ‘agential realism’ theory materiality is intra-active and intra-penetrating with discourse. Storytelling is a subdomain of discourse. James kept his middle-path between rationalist and empiricist to inquiry into the metaphysical.

Example: The Diesel House is all about quantum waves of energy vibrations, especially when the Monster Diesel, comes out to play its own music, to its diesel tempo, accompanied by the blacksmiths, past and present.

Example: Ragnarök Rock Museum is an agency for storytelling music, has Rock things as actants, and there are Rock agents all about the place. This is an actor-network-actant theory or Rock agency, set in the design, in the pathways through the design, done in dramatic form. But, Rock never ends.


Path 10: Epistemic Pragmatist Storytelling can take an abductive path of sensemaking. 

Peirce tells a pragmatic story of the theft of his favorite Tiffany watch, a gift he received from the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey for his work on pendulum research (Burton, 2000: 153). Peirce was traveling on a coastal steamer from Boston to New York. After disembarking he remembered that the expensive Tiffany watch was left in his stateroom. Peirce rushed back on board, went to the stateroom, and it had been cleaned up, and no watch remained.

Path 11: Epistemic Pragmatic Storytelling takes a path of infinitesimals.

Writing before Heisenberg’s (1927) Principle of Indeterminateness, Peirce was writing in 1890 about infinitesimal intervals of time. In epistemic pragmatic storytelling, this means looking beyond a reductionist BME narrative of a few major dramatic events, and seeing the infinitesimal little wow moments in between, that have been excluded by the grander narrative. Timothy Herron (1997) says Peirce’s ideas on infinitesimals are part of a theory of fallibilism (some knowledge can be accepted, though not proven) that Peirce applied to mathematics. “For fallibilism is the doctrine that our knowledge is never absolute but always swims, as it were, in a continuum of uncertainty and of indeterminacy” (Peirce, as cited in Herron, 1997: 596).

Path 12: Epistemic Pragmatic Storytelling path is sometimes anti-foundational as theory, praxis, and method changes along the way.

This is supposed to be what Grounded Theory does, to let the ground move under the theory. Fixation occurs when the ground no longer moves, and theory, method, and practice coalesce, cohere, and petrify. Peirce’s account of foundations is between a causal evolutionary story and a normative story (Short, p. 3). In Peirce semiology, the sign-symbol-interpretant systems moved from simple to “more chaotic, surprising, paradoxical” results, then back to “more ordered, predictable, rationalized state” (Gorleé, 1993: 126). New triadic patterns emerge in the combinations, and even more as new translations of Peirce’s work pile one upon the other.

QUESTION: Do Peter’s Stories Resonate with you: e.g. Observer’s Effect and path of observation affects action and how is Quantum Mechanical phenomenon of observer effect relevant to storytelling?

The observer has Being-in-the-world, and has effect on storytelling, which has its own self-moving consequence. Rudolph Diesel observed his wealth quite literally flip through his fingers, and vanish. He lost 10 million Deutsch Marks, but saved one million to leave to his wive, then jumped overboard in the English Channel.

Boje (2014): “A quantum storytelling approach gets at entanglement of human actors and material actants.”

“Quantum Storytelling that unifies facts with values, including all their plurality and particularity to oppose disenchantment narrative of organizations and their environment” (IBID.). 

  • “The quantum storytelling is posthumanist, and it is not the old Poetics-Structuralist-Formalist-Linguist approach, rather it is pragmatist in a sustainability that is not shallow, not human-ego-centric, not over-consumerist, and not the waste of planet life. It is not Newtonian materialism, not Madonna’s ‘I’m a material girl.’ Quantum pragmatist storytelling is cross-species, subatomic particle/wave, a post-capitalist existential materialist way of Being-in-the-world” (IBID.)

The Observers Effect, the reflective process of “determinate negation which is consequently a positive content as well” and the negation that belongs to the content itself, to the Diesel engine, and is part of the whole process of Diesel materiality the spacetimemattering of a quantum storytelling (Hegel: 1807: # 59). Rudolph Diesel began by observing the pneumatic cigar lighter, and bet his first design of engine would topple the steam, but that experiment failed, and he did another one, which succeeded. The 1892 patents were filed and in 1911 he was crowned “Prince of the Spirit”. His was an instinct of reason and the individuality of an inventor being-for-self but then the antitheses split off, the quantum wave collapsed into differentia. 

As we know from Bohr, the universality of quantum means that the electron orbits can only be in certain configurations, and must conform. It is impossible says Bohr, to be a wave and a particle at the same time.

Bohr has brought to my attention [that] the uncertainty in our observation does not arise exclusively from the occurrence of discontinuities, but is tied directly to the demand that we ascribe equal validity to the quite different experiments which show up in the [particulate] theory on one hand, and in the wave theory on the other hand.

source https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Complementarity_(physics)

Question: How do survival instinct and developmental instinct resonate with you? E.g. Antenarrative processes in organizational change, the Before, Between, beneath, Bets, and Becoming.

I met with Marita Svane form Aalborg University this week, and we are working out the antenarrative triadic, how antenarrative mediates between living story web and narrative/counternarratives.

Drawing of Antenarrative relations by Marita Svane (see Boje, Svane, Henderson & Streval, in press; Svane & Boje, 2014; Svane & Boje, 2015; Svane, Boje & Gergerich (2015).

Generations of blacksmiths forged diesel motors at Copenhagen B&W enterprises.

These generations of blacksmiths form an historic community grounding in advance the possibilities in “Being of care” the “futural” and in “authentic historicality”; (Heidegger, 1962: #150, p. 191) destining is an “interpretation” “grounded in something we have in advance – in afore-having … fore-sight … fore-conception”; (#80, p. 110) “A warning signal, what is coming”; (#90, p. 111) [as cited in Boje, 2014 Dragon book].

Gregory Vizenor, the Native American Scholar, who writes about the importance of Survivance storytelling, to the survival of the tribe. Its a way of being in orality, not the western narrative devotion to the text, to making text the law. Orality unites itself with the being of substance” of the tribe itself , its survivance (Hegel, 1807: #17).  The tribe works to insure its intellectual instinct for survivance does not fall back into depicting actuality in a non-actual manner.

The instinct for development in the 5 B’s in the diagram Marita Svane prepared is about potentialities that are not in the emplotment formula, its “construction” notions (Hegel, 1807;: # 51). As Hegel expresses, any dullard can learn to recite a four part typology such as the four kinds of plots of narratology obsession.  But what is more intuitively apprehended in the five B’s and now a sixth B, of fore-grasping something Beyond that Marita and I want to begin to explore, that is the instinct for development, but it is dialectic, antithesis to the dialectic of survival.

Question: The 5th B of Becoming in Martin Heidegger’s concept of care (for-caring) in his book Being and Time how does it fit with Peter’s concept of vertical structures – in prolific development environment?

Peter Bastian writes (of Bulkan Music, and the need for developing our rhythms of a musical kind in relation to Nature and Community in a musicality called Love. This is where humans gain humility (Bastian, 1987) a feeling of responsibility for the rhythm of sustainability. I call this the ethic of answerability (following Bakhtin), and a heart-of-care (my reading of care in Heidegger).

I watched YouTubes of Peter Bastian

Bazaar – Afskedskoncert – Part 1

  • 3 years ago
TVMarineret en TV-station på Kanal Hovedstaden – http://www.tvmarineret.dkhttp://youtube.com/MarineretTVM …
TV Fra en Anden Planet (TVfap) er baseret på oplysning frem for underholdning og er derfor den diametrale modsætning til …


A few references

Benjamin, Walter (selections from 1968 Illuminations book) Click here for online PDF (searchable)

The Storyteller Click here for PDF of chapter (searchable)

The Task of Translation Click here for PDF of chapter (searchable)

Work of Art in Age of Mechanical Reproduction (1935) Click here for PDF of chapter (searchable)

On the Concept of History Click here for pdf of chapter (searchable)

Boje, D. M. (1991). “The storytelling organization: A study of storytelling performance in an office supply firm.” Administrative Science Quarterly, Vol. 36: pp.106-126.

Boje, D. M. (1995). Stories of the storytelling organization: A postmodern analysis of Disney as ‘Tamara-land’. Academy of Management Journal. Vol. 38 (4): 997-1035.

Boje, D. M. (2008). Storytelling Organizations. London: Sage

Boje, D. M. (2011). Storytelling and the Future of Organizations: An Antenarrative Handbook (London: Routledge Studies in Management, Organizations and Society) [Hardcover]Authors & Table of Contents

Boje, D. M. (2012a). Quantum Storytelling. Free book on line.

Boje, D. M. (2012b) Quantum Spirals for Business Consulting. Free book on line.

Boje, D. M. (2014). Storytelling Organizational Practices: Managing in the Quantum Age. London/NY: Routledge.

Boje, D. M.; Durant, Rita. (2006). Free Story! Tamara Journal. Vol 5 (3): 19-37; click here for Tamara Journal pdf

Boje, D., & Henderson, T. L. (Forthcoming, 2014). Fostering awareness of fractal patterns in organizations.” In B. Burnes (Ed.), Change into practice. Routledge.

Boje, D. M., Svane, M., Henderson, T. L., & Strevel, H. B. (in press). Critical corporate social responsibility in tamara-land: The role of tetranormalizing fractals. In R. Ocler (Ed.), Book chapter for a Springer collection, Rodolphe Ocler (ed.).

Boje, M., & Svane, M., Gergerich, E. (in press). Counternarrative and Antenarrative Inquiry in Two Cross-Cultural Contexts. Cross Cultural Management.

Stein, G. (1931). How to Write. Westgrove, VT : Something Else Press, Inc.

Stein, G. (1935). Narration: four lectures. Introduction by Thornton Wilder. Chicago, Il: University of Chicago Press.

Stein, G. (1998). Gertrude Stein: Writings 1932-1946. NY: Literary Classics of the United States, Inc.

Strand, A. M. C. (2012). Enacting The Between: On Dis/continuous intra-active Becoming of/through an Apparatus of Material Storytelling.Unpublished Doctoral Dissertation) Aalborg University, Denmark. Retrieved from: Books, 1.

Svane, M., & Boje, D. (2014). Merger strategy, cross-cultural involvement and polyphony. Between Cultures and Paradigms, IACCM 2014, University of Warwick, UK. Conference Proceeding. To be published in: European Journal of Cross-Cultural Competence and Management.
Svane, M., & Boje, D.; Gergerich, Erika M. (2015). Counternarrative and Antenarrative Inquiry in Two Cross-Cultural Contexts. Accepted for publication in Special Issue on counternarrative, European Journal of Cross-Cultural Competence.

Svane, M., & Boje, D. (2015). Tamara land fractal change management – in between managerialist narrative and polyphonic living stories. Sc’Moi, Standing Conference for Management and Organizational Inquiry, Las Vegas.