Friday, April 18, 2014

Storytelling in 2014

Chaucer wrote the Canterbury Tales in the end part of the 14th century. The stories (mostly written in verse, although some are in prose) are presented as part of a story-telling contest by a group of pilgrims as they travel together on a journey from Southwark to the shrine of Saint Thomas Becket at Canterbury Cathedral. The prize for this contest is a free meal at an inn on their return.

Storytelling is a way of sharing and interpreting experiences and are universal, insofar as they involve the sames basic tenets - hero + goal - baddie = story.

English: The Boyhood of Raleigh, 1871
English: The Boyhood of Raleigh, 1871 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Sketch of "The Story of the Bunyip",...
Sketch of "The Story of the Bunyip", an Aborigine telling the story to two European children (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

According to Wikipedia;
Human knowledge is based on stories and the human brain consists of cognitive machinery necessary to understand, remember, and tell stories. Humans are storytelling organisms that both individually and socially, lead storied lives. Stories mirror human thought as humans think in narrative structures and most often remember facts in story form. Facts can be understood as smaller versions of a larger story, thus storytelling can supplement analytical thinking. Because storytelling requires auditory and visual senses from listeners, one can learn to organize their mental representation of a story, recognize structure of language, and express his or her thoughts.
So there you go. Man was made for stories, and stories were made for man.

But where does this leave us in 2014 when technology means that we can be told stories 24/7? Well, StoryCorps has come up with a great way of combining oral storytelling and video imaging. And I think it hits the nail right on the head;

Why there have only been 370,000 views at the time of this going live, I do not know, but what a story and what a great vehicle for telling it.


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