That evening, in that white house among the fields, a boy's most passionate dream came true. His father had long talked of the traveling storytellers. He said they possessed brilliant powers; they brought the long-gone past to life vividly, without what he called 'the interference of scholars. Those professors,' he said. 'They dry out history in order to put it down on paper.' In his father's view, a tale with the feeling taken out of it had 'no blood and was worth very little.' But the old stories, told by travelling storytellers round the fireside on winter evenings - they came hurtling straight down the long, shiny pipeline of the centuries and the characters, all love and hate and fire, 'tumbled out on our own stone floor'(p.4).
Being a professor, but hoping to avoid dry and bloodless tales, I'm looking forward to learning new ways to tell stories using digital tools, especially the video options. Here's where I am tonight:
I was thinking about that word "gist", and with a little serendipitous searching, found this fragment:
(from Roger Schank's book Tell Me A Story: Narrative and Intelligence published in 1990 by Northwestern University Press, Evanston, IL).
While I'm sharing fragments, I remember that when I departed for graduate school to study sociology, one of my dear friends warned me: "Don't stop writing in picture words, whatever you do." I thought I would be able to follow her advice. Within three months, after reading highly abstract social theory, I was writing about "the colonization of the lifeworld by the system," picking up new terms that would be impossible to capture in an image ("Problematize" and "operationalize" are two of my favorite examples of this). The community of discourse I had entered was not sitting at the fireside with a storyteller "hurling (tales) down the shiny pipleline of the centuries." I'm hoping to do some hurling over the next few weeks.