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What is a Story? Why do we tell them? ENG4UW Mrs. Crowell.

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Presentation on theme: "What is a Story? Why do we tell them? ENG4UW Mrs. Crowell."— Presentation transcript:

1 What is a Story? Why do we tell them? ENG4UW Mrs. Crowell

2 What is a story? How does storytelling define who we are as human beings and as members of the human culture throughout the world?

3 Samuel Coleridge says… If an author is successful, the audience will suspend their “disbelief” and, instead, believe in the creative interpretation of a tale.

4 What do you say? Should we revel in this sharing of creativity as entertainment? Or, is the moral of a good story essential to the values of our shared culture throughout the world?

5 Isak Dinesen says… “All sorrows can be borne if you put them into a story or tell a story about them.” Isak Dinesen shows that the storyteller can make meaning out of what otherwise would remain an unbearable sequence of events or unrelated happenings. Happenings become part of a pattern called a destiny. Creation of that destiny in a work of fiction reveals meaning in life without committing the error of defining it.

6 N. Scott Momaday says… Storytelling is imaginative and creative in nature. It is an act by which man strives to realize. It is capacity for wonder, meaning, and delight. It is also a process in which man invents and preserves himself….man tells stories in order to understand his experience, whatever it may be.

7 N. Scott Momaday also says… Generally speaking, man has his consummate being in language, and there only. The state of human being is an idea, an idea which man has of himself. Only when he is embodied in an idea, and the idea is realized in language can man take possession of himself. If there is absolute assumption in back of my thoughts tonight, it is this: we are what we imagine. Our very existence consists in our imagination of ourselves. The greatest tragedy that can befall us is to go unimagined.

8 Leslie Silko says… The storyteller keeps the stories All the escape stories She says “With these stories of ours We can escape almost anything With these stories we will survive”

9 Percy Bysshe Shelly says… A man, to be truly good, must imagine intensely and comprehensively; he must put himself in the place of another and of many others; in the pains and pleasures of his species must become his own. The great instrument of the moral good is the imagination.

10 Margaret Atwood says… We have all been little pitchers with big ears, shooed out of the kitchen when the unspoken is being spoken, and we have probably all been tale- bearers, blurters at the dinner table, unwitting violators of adult rules of censorship. Perhaps this is what writers are: those who never kicked the habit. We remained tale- bearers. We learned to keep our eyes open, but not to keep our mouths shut.

11 Margaret Atwood also says… Two kinds of story we first encounter—the shaped tale, the overheard impromptu narrative we piece together—form our idea of what a story is and colour the expectations we bring to stories later. Perhaps it’s from the collisions between these two kinds of stories—what is often called “real life” and what is sometimes dismissed as “mere literature” of “the kinds of things that happen only in stories” – that original and living writing is generated… From listening to the stories of others, we learn to tell our own.

12 Making Connections…

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