I was reminded of this essay when I recently posted about Antoine D’Agata’s social documentary work. I wrote this essay back in 2001; I was taking an English course on narrative from Rick Fehrenbacher. Being a fan of Jim Goldberg’s work I saw great a great opportunity’s to address the story at the heart of his work. Jim Goldberg’s Raised by Wolves is purely narrative. It is a story, as true as any story can hope to be; it is a story told through many mediums; it is the story of the streets. Jim Goldberg, a photographer by trade, spent ten years on the streets of San Francisco and LA “documenting” the citys’ homeless teens. Raised by Wolves is the story of Goldberg’s experience with these teens. This story takes on many forms: a traveling art gallery exhibit, a book, a website, and an experience. All of these radically different modes of narrative function to tell the same story. Raised by Wolves is the fabula at the core of these different manifestations, altered by different mediums and orders. But multiple venues are just the tip of the multimedia iceberg.
** In Rick Fehrenbacher’s Narrative course I also created where the class posted great links and essays about many types of narrative - I highly recommend taking a look.