Narrative re-enchantement as world re-enchantement
as world re-enchantement
Université Paris 1 - Panthéon-Sorbonne
Le réenchantement du récit radiophonique
comme réenchantement du monde
Colloque international « Radio et narration°: Le
réenchantement ? », GRER, Bruxelles, 19-20 novembre 2010
In this communication, I will try to explain how
narrative re-enchantement can be analyzed as a form
of world re-enchantement.
We will see first narrative metamorphoses in
contemporary society, then how Radio Ici et
Maintenant (Radio Here and Now) tries to re-enchant
this narrative and this world.
I The metamorphoses of
We will see that the end of "grand
narratives" and its disenchanting
consequences gave a way to a multitude of
"little narratives" to re-enchant.
A) The end of "° grand narratives °“
Liberal and democratic societies, at least some of its
ideologues, theorists and crusaders, have felt free
from all forms of despotism, religious, superstition.
With the end of communist, totalitarian, religious or
structuralist "grand narratives“, liberal democratic
societies would finally be free, independent, rational.
Contemporary society has therefore become one in
which we can not "tell stories".
B) The flowering of "small stories“
The “end of narrative” can be considered as a
narrative. People love narrative as we can see
in fiction or journalistic “facts”.
“Storytelling” is a form of discourse that can be
found in all sectors of society.
Christian Salmon uses “new narrative order”
For instance : scentific paradigm :
Materialistic and rationalist
Enlightenment narrative has been
imposed officially. But some people
continue to have different point of
view on this subject : “intelligent
design”, New Age…
The narrative is constitutive of
individual and social group identity. It’s
a kind of anthropological invariant, a
functional human need. It provides a
sense of belonging by injecting sense.
So it can re-enchant the daily life that
may seem boring and trivial.
Radio, that mixes sound and discourse
narrative, has an important position for this
narrative expansion. Radio Ici et Maintenant,
which is a New Age and Parisian radio, can be
defined as "narrative machine".
II Radio Ici et Maintenant narrative re-enchantement
Radio Ici et Maintenant produces a political and religious re-
A) Political re-enchantement
Radio Ici et Maintenant gives 2 ways for Political re-enchantement :
Radio Ici et Maintenant, which was a “free
radio”, gives lot of time for freedom of
expression to its listeners. So listeners can
remake the world night and day.
This can have cathartic and performative
effects but also re-enchantement effects.
Radio Ici et Maintenant doesn’t do politics directly but
invites activists, show power : relations of
domination, modes of reproduction of the dominant,
political communication strategies...
Animators, guests and listeners don’t rely on policy
makers and make conspiracy theories. For them, the
real power is not where we can think. This can have
But this re-enchatement is
disenchanted because politics seem to
be completely sclerotic.
So Radio Ici et Maintenant tries to find
other ways to re-enchant the world:
B) Religious reenchantment
Facing contemporary society described in
terms of "disenchantment of the world",
Radio Ici et Maintenant tries to reenchant
through the promotion of New Age
Contemporary "world disenchantment“
“World disenchantment“ is the fact that traditional
religious institution have less impact on society.
But materialistic and rationalist Enlightenment
narrative is not enough consistant for people.
Nature and human nature resist to materialism and
rationalism. And people still need philosophy,
religion, mataphysic… They need to make sens, to re-
enchant the world.
To re-enchant this world, Radio Ici et
Maintenant promotes New Age
theories by inviting psychics,
astrologers, healers, therapists and
other energy providers, who promote
Religious re-enchantment by the New Age
New Age is "nebulous“ religious ideology from
"Contemporary Religious Movements" prophesying
the advent of a new age of universal harmony
through the synthesis of philosophy and Eastern and
Western religions, the American contra-culture and
the Western esoteric and spiritualist tradition.
It attempts to synthesize tradition and
modernity, physiology and psychology, atheism
and theosophy, science and religion ...
Rather than rejecting completely religions, New
Age prefers unification and keep their
spirituality, their mystery and message, for
example, the Christian message of love.
New Age re-enchants the world by revisiting human
history, religious history and science history.
For new agers, everything is alive, everything is
animated, everything has a soul, everything speaks,
everything makes sense, everything communicates,
everything is connected.
New Age tries to give a scientific basis for spirituality
and a spiritual basis for science.
To conclude :
Our relationship to the political and religious things change constantly
in order to change and re-enchant the world.
Radio Ici et Maintenant is a kind of radiophonic institution which uses
New Age narrative to re-enchant the world.
Radio seems to be perfect for narrative re-enchantement because our
imagination is completely necessary.