Sunday, October 19, 2014

Telling a Story: How Art Made The World . . .

How Art Made The World
You Tube

According to this documentary, apparently, some 'god' named Arthur made the world!

Just kidding, i.e., telling a story. I share this predilection toward honest dishonesty with Boccaccio and Sidney. According to Michael Gillum on the Milton List:
Regarding Jeffery's blog topic, "telling a story" = "lying" in some dialects, Boccaccio found it necessary to argue that the writer of fiction cannot lie because he doesn't pretend to tell historical truth.
Hugh Wilson on the same listserve chimes in on Sir Philip Sidney:
Sidney repeats Boccaccio: "Now for the poet, he nothing affirms, and therefore never lieth." From An Apology for Poetry, ed. Forrest Robinson (Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1970) 57.
I lie in good company, and there must be other great storytellers who concur, which leads me to this morning's blog topic, a documentary on ancient storytelling:
THE HISTORY OF ANCIENT STORYTELLING (documentary) history/entertainment/art

The storytelling history is quite ancient, lost in the mist of time. Nobody knows when the first story was actually told. Did it happen in the gloomy recess of a cave around a flickering fire told by a primitive hunter? Well, we may never know. But it is believed that [the] origin of storytelling may have come across as an excuse for failure. Perhaps stories were used long time ago to calm the fears or doubts of a family. As families grouped with other families and formed clans, the storyteller, who was good at telling heroic events or other important events of the tribe began to reach position of respect and power. People found them interesting and began to listen to them. The priest, the judge and the ruler were perhaps the earliest to use this art effectively in the history of storytelling. Storytelling days were considered important.

The history of storytelling reveals that the stories came in all variety. Myths, legends of all kinds, fairy tales, trickster stories, fables, ghost tales, hero stories, and epic adventures, these stories were told, retold. Passing down from generations, these stories reflect the wisdom and knowledge of early people. There are stories often used to explain important but often confusing events and disasters in nature at those early times. For example - fire, storms, thunder, floods, tidal waves, lightening etc; It was common for people to believe in the stories of gods, which bound them to a common heritage and beliefs.

In fact, it is believed by most historians and psychologists that storytelling is one of the many things that define and bind our humanity. Humans are perhaps the only animals that create and tell stories. ("The History of Ancient Storytelling," You Tube)
Note the line that reads, "But it is believed that [the] origin of storytelling may have come across as an excuse for failure." This line is in some ways not so far from the accusation adults aimed at me as a child when they thought I was lying, namely that I was telling a story, a type of excuse.

I've not watched the actual documentary, due to lack of time, but if any reader has watched, let us know if the time spent watching was truly time well spent . . .



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