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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Storytelling

Susan Miller, the author of "The Written World" made this statement. "Before the written world of storytelling existed, stories were kept alive through an oral world of spoken and remembered tales where knowledge was passed on from individual to individual, often in ways that now seem indirect and difficult."

She tells of an Eskimo woman who explains how her memories and ways of thinking differ from those that her grandchildren are learning in school from the written word. The woman does not write, nor does she separate, categorize and analyze change. When she does make a point, she asks her listener to understand it by hearing and understanding the stories in her memories, not by hearing a 'statement'.

It fascinated me to read her stories that had been written down as she told them in her simple, yet captivating words.

It also made me think of how far we have come from listening to the verbal telling of a story to the Kindle. For my mother's 88th birthday we, her children, went in together and bought her a Kindle. She loves it. It's easier to hold in her arthritic hands. It's easier for her to see the words. Still, I have to wonder if we leave something of value in the past as we reel into the future or has high tech given us an advantage?

When all is said and done, however, I love the feel of a book in my hand. I love to wrap myself in the story, to walk along side the characters, listening to their conversations; to be involved in their conflicts; to feel their emotions; to be contented or discontented with the ending. But that doesn't mean I don't enjoy simply sitting and listening to a great story handed down from generation to generation. Nor does it mean that I'll never get a Kindle because I think I'd like a Kindle, although it will never replace a real book . . . or will it?

That thought makes me feel a little intimated, however, just as the Eskimo woman felt intimated by reading and writing. They were new technologies that directly affected her world by changing its traditional concepts about past and future.

Thank you for stopping by and have a great day.

2 comments:

Happily Cheesy said...

Honestly, I would love to fall into the category of story-tellers rather than writers. What we miss in detail and rich prose is conveyed in raw emotion. I suppose there's a place for each eh?

JoAnn Arnold said...

I agree