To Describe Telling

I have had a longstanding interest in the relations between narration and description (and the assumption that nothing is happening while something is being described). I love this bit from John Dewey: "[…] a mountain, which to the layman [sic] is a standing symbol of permanence, is to the geologist the scene of drama of birth, growth, decay and ultimate death."

In Volume 12 (193) of the Collected Works in Part Two of Logic: The Theory of Inquiry we find a passage where we can note that Dewey begins with temporal and goes to spatial aspects. He does say that either aspect may be uppermost. His symmetrical treatment is evoked by the parallelism of his sentences.

Existential subject-matter as transformed has a temporal phase. Linguistically, this phase is expressed in narration. But all changes occur through interactions of conditions. What exists co-exists, and no change can either occur or be determined in inquiry in isolation from the connection of an existence with co-existing conditions. Hence the existential subject-matter of judgement has a spatial phase. Linguistically this is expressed in description.
I think this can be brought fruitfully into contact with the work of Lubomír Doležel on possible worlds and fictions. I have always been puzzled as to what triggers world construction especially how persons emerge from states. Dewey offers part of answer to the mysteries of generation.

And so for day 1985