Phenomenology Online

A Resource for Phenomenological Inquiry

The Revocative Turn

Lived-throughness: Through anecdote and imagery, bring experience vividly into presence, making it immedately or unreflectively recongizable.


The term “revoke” means to recall, to bring back, to rescind. Revoking our words means to go back on our word-not to betray them, but to return to experience before the word assigned meaning and form to it. Well-written and well edited anecdotes may create for the writer and reader the experience of presence, closeness, propinquity or proximity in place or time. An effective anecdote or lived experience description may be more than the sum of the parts or words that go together to constitute it. Such writing can take the reader beyond mere words, and bring the experience described vividly into presence.