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Encyclopedia > Storytelling

Storytelling is the ancient art of conveying events in words, images, and sounds. Stories have probably been shared in every culture and in every land as a means of entertainment, education, preservation of culture and to instill knowledge and values/morals. Crucial elements of storytelling include plot and characters, as well as the narrative point of view. Stories are frequently used to teach, explain, and/or entertain. Less frequently, but occasionally with major consequences, they have been used to mislead. There can be much truth in a story of fiction, and much falsehood in a story that uses facts. Image File history File links Broom_icon. ... Storytelling is a 2001 film about dysfunctional adolescents, directed by Todd Solondz. ... A word is a unit of language that carries meaning and consists of one or more morphemes which are linked more or less tightly together, and has a phonetical value. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into image (disambiguation). ... Sound is a disturbance of mechanical energy that propagates through matter as a wave. ... A stilt-walker entertaining shoppers at a shopping centre in Swindon, England Entertainment is an event, performance, or activity designed to give pleasure or relaxation to an audience (although, for example, in the case of a computer game the audience may be only one person). ... A moral is a one sentence remark made at the end of many childrens stories that expresses the intended meaning, or the moral message, of the tale. ...


The appearance of technology has changed the tools available to storytellers. The earliest forms of storytelling are thought to have been primarily oral combined with gestures and expressions. Rudimentary drawings such as can be seen in the artwork scratched onto the walls of caves may also have been early forms of storytelling. Ephemeral media such as sand, leaves, and the carved trunks of living trees have also been used to record stories in pictures or with writing. With the invention of writing and the use of stable, portable media stories were recorded, transcribed and shared over wide regions of the world. Stories have been carved, scratched, painted, printed, or inked onto wood or bamboo, ivory and other bones, pottery, clay tablets, stone, palm-leaf books, skins (parchment), bark cloth, paper, silk, canvas and other textiles, recorded on film and stored electronically in digital form. Complex forms of tattooing may also represent stories, with information about genealogy, affiliation and social status. Illustration of a scribe writing Writing, in its most common sense, is the preservation of and the preserved text on a medium, with the use of signs or symbols. ... A blank sheet of paper Paper is a commodity of thin material produced by the amalgamation of fibers, typically vegetable fibers composed of cellulose, which are subsequently held together by hydrogen bonding. ... Look up Canvas in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Film is a term that encompasses individual motion pictures, the field of film as an art form, and the motion picture industry. ...


Traditionally, oral stories were passed from generation to generation, and survived solely by memory. With written media, this has become less important. Conversely, in modern times, the vast entertainment industry is built upon a foundation of sophisticated multimedia storytelling.

The Boyhood of Raleigh by Sir John Everett Millais, oil on canvas, 1870.
A seafarer tells the young Sir Walter Raleigh and his brother the story of what happened out there at sea.

Contents

Millais, The Boyhood of Raligh; Oil on canvas, 1870, now in the Tate Britain museum. ... Millais, The Boyhood of Raligh; Oil on canvas, 1870, now in the Tate Britain museum. ... John Everett Millais (June 8, 1829–August 13, 1896) was a painter. ... 1870 (MDCCCLXX) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Monday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar). ... Alternatively, Professor Walter Raleigh was a scholar and author circa 1900. ...

Oral traditions

People in all times and places have told stories. In the oral tradition, storytelling includes the teller and the audience. The storyteller creates the experience, while the audience perceives the message and creates personal mental images from the words heard and the gestures seen. In this experience, the audience becomes co-creator of the art. Storytellers sometimes dialogue with their audience, adjusting their words to respond to the listeners and to the moment.


Oral storytelling is an improvisational art form, one that is sometimes compared to music. Generally, a storyteller does not memorize a set text, but learns a series of script-like incidents that form a satisfying narrative arc (a plot) with a distinct beginning, middle and end. The teller visualizes the characters and settings, and then improvises the actual wording. Thus no two tellings of an oral story are exactly alike. // Music is an art form consisting of sound and silence expressed through time. ...


Albert Bates Lord examined oral narratives from field transcripts of Yugoslav oral bards collected by Milman Parry in the 1930s, and the texts of epics such as The Odyssey and Beowulf. Lord found that a surprisingly large part of the stories consisted of text improvised during the telling process. The words seemingly came from a mental storehouse of phrases and narrative devices accumulated over a lifetime. Albert Bates Lord was a Professor of Slavic and Comparative Literature at Harvard who, after the untimely death of Milman Parry, carried on that scholars research into epic literature. ... Face The 1930s (years from 1930–1939) were described as an abrupt shift to more radical and conservative lifestyles, as countries were struggling to find a solution to the Great Depression, also known in Europe as the World Depression. ... Odysseus and Nausicaä - by Charles Gleyre For other uses, see Odyssey (disambiguation). ... The first page of Beowulf Beowulf is an Old English heroic epic poem composed in the later Early Middle Ages (in the 8th, 9th or 10th century). ...


Lord identified two types of story vocabulary. The first he called 'formulas': "rosy-fingered dawn," "the wine-dark sea," certain set phrases had long been known of in Homer and other oral epics. But no one realized before Lord how common these formulas were. He discovered that across many story traditions that fully 90% of an oral epic is assembled from lines repeated verbatim or with one-for-one word substitutions. Oral stories are built out of phrases stockpiled from a lifetime of hearing and telling stories. The other type of story vocabulary is theme. A theme is a set sequence of story actions that structure the tale. Just as the teller of tales proceeds line-by-line using formulas, so he proceeds event-to-event using themes. One almost universal theme is repetition, as evidenced in Western folklore with the 'rule of three': three brothers set out, three attempts are made, three riddles are asked. A theme can be as simple as a specific set sequence describing the arming of a hero, starting with shirt and trousers and ending with headdress and weapons. A theme can be large enough to be a plot component. For example: a hero proposes a journey to a dangerous place / he disguises himself / his disguise fools everybody / except for a common person of little account (a crone, a tavern maid or a woodcutter) / who immediately recognizes him / the commoner becomes the hero's ally, showing unexpected resources of skill or initiative. A theme does not belong to a specific story, but may be found with minor variation in many different stories. Themes may be no more than handy prefabricated parts for constructing a tale. Or they may represent universal truths - ritual-based, religious truths as James Frazer saw in The Golden Bough, or archetypal, psychological truths as Joseph Campbell describes in The Hero With a Thousand Faces. A set phrase is an expression (i. ... Homer (Greek: , ) was an early Greek poet and aoidos (rhapsode) traditionally credited with the composition of the Iliad and the Odyssey. ... Heroine (female hero) redirects here. ... Sir James George Frazer (January 1, 1854, Glasgow, Scotland – May 7, 1941), was a Scottish social anthropologist influential in the early stages of the modern studies of mythology and comparative religion. ... Joseph John Campbell (March 26, 1904 – October 31, 1987) was an American professor, writer, and orator best known for his work in the fields of comparative mythology and comparative religion. ...


The intrinsic nature of stories was described in A Palpable God, (1978) by Reynolds Price (Akkadine Press) when he wrote: Year 1978 (MCMLXXVIII) was a common year starting on Sunday (link displays the 1978 Gregorian calendar). ... Reynolds Price Reynolds Price (born February 1, 1933, as Edward Reynolds Price) is a U.S. novelist, poet, dramatist, essayist and James B. Duke Professor of English at Duke University. ...

"A need to tell and hear stories is essential to the species Homo sapiens--second in necessity apparently after nourishment and before love and shelter. Millions survive without love or home, almost none in silence; the opposite of silence leads quickly to narrative, and the sound of story is the dominant sound of our lives, from the small accounts of our day's events to the vast incommunicable constructs of psychopaths."

There are many kinds of stories, such as fables, parables, myths, legends. Stories are of many moods, such as humorous, inspirational, didactic or educative, frightening, tragic, romantic. For a comparison of fable with other kinds of stories, see Myth, legend, fairy tale, and fable. ... // For a comparison of parable with other kinds of stories, see Myth, legend, fairy tale, and fable. ... The word mythology (from the Greek μυολογία mythología, from μυολογείν mythologein to relate myths, from μύος mythos, meaning a narrative, and λόγος logos, meaning speech or argument) literally means the (oral) retelling of myths – stories that a particular culture believes to be true and that use the supernatural to interpret natural events and... For other uses, see Legendary (disambiguation). ...


Folklorists sometimes divide oral tales into two main groups: "Märchen" and "Sagen". These are German terms for which there are no exact English equivalents; the first one is both singular and plural. (1) "Märchen," loosely translated as "fairy tale(s)" (though fairies are rare in them) take place in a kind of separate "once-upon-a-time" world of nowhere-in-particular. They are clearly not intended to be understood as true. The stories are full of clearly defined incidents, and peopled by rather flat characters with little or no interior life. When the supernatural occurs, it is presented matter-of-factly, without surprise. Indeed, there is very little affect, generally; bloodcurdling events may take place, but with little call for emotional response from the listener. (2) "Sagen," best translated as "legends," are supposed to have actually happened, very often at a particular time and place, and they draw much of their power from this fact. When the supernatural intrudes (as it often does), it does so in an emotionally fraught manner. Ghost and lover's leap stories belong in this category, as do many UFO-stories, and stories of supernatural beings and events. The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ...


Stories of wise men are well known, such as Solomon and Nasreddin. Artists depiction of Solomons court (Ingobertus, c. ... Nasreddin Nasreddin (Persian ملا نصرالدین, Arabic: نصرالدين meaning Victory of the Faith, Turkish Nasreddin Hoca) was a satirical sufi figure who lived during the Middle Ages (around 13th century), somewhere in Greater Khorasan. ...


Modern actors, singers, rappers and comedians can at times be storytellers. There is also a distinct kind of contemporary performer called "storyteller" who combines elements of these more mainstream professions together with several others, to create performances that are neither modern nor archaic. These performers may use traditional, original, or historical materials. Actors in period costume sharing a joke whilst waiting between takes during location filming. ... In music a singer or vocalist is a type of musician who sings, i. ... Rapping is one of the elements of hip hop and the distinguishing feature of hip hop music; it is a form of rhyming lyrics spoken rhythmically over musical instruments, with a musical backdrop of sampling, scratching and mixing by DJs. ... A comedian, or comic, is an entertainer who amuses an audience by making them laugh. ...


Organizational consultants and managers have also discovered the power of storytelling in organizations. A good story of organizational transformation in one organization might motivate similar organizations to change as well; also, the informal stories people tell to each other about organizational norms, policies and change initiatives permeate organizational culture and reflect the meaning people give to organizational interventions.


Storytelling as Art Form

Though nearly all humans tell stories, many individuals have brought this skill to the level of art. Storytelling Festivals feature the work of these individuals. Elements of the storytelling art form include visualization (the seeing of images in the mind's eye), and vocal and bodily gestures. In many ways, the art of storytelling draws upon other art forms such as acting, oral interpretation, and performance studies. A storytelling festival is often an annual event that features local, regional and/or nationally known oral storytellers. ... Visualization can refer to: Graphic Visualization as in any technique for creating images, diagrams, or animations to communicate any message. ... See mouse gesture for gestures in computing Military signalmen use hand and body gestures to direct flight operations aboard aircraft carriers. ... Acting is the work of an actor or actress, which is a person in theatre, television, film, or any other storytelling medium who tells the story by portraying a character and, usually, speaking or singing the written text or play. ... Please wikify (format) this article or section as suggested in the Guide to layout and the Manual of Style. ... Performance studies is a growing field of academic study focusing on the critical analysis of performance and performativity. ...


In the 1970s, a so called "Renaissance" of storytelling began in the U.S. and resulted in many performers becoming professional storytellers. Another result was the creation of the National Association for the Perpetuation and Preservation of Storytelling (NAPPS), now the National Storytelling Network. This professional organization helped to organize resources for tellers and festival planners. As of 2007, there are dozens of storytelling festivals and hundreds of professional storytellers around the world, and an international celebration of the art on World Storytelling Day, Started in Sweden in 2003, World Storytelling Day has grown in a few short years to a global celebration of the art of oral storytelling, celebrated every year on the first day of spring in the northern hemisphere, the first day of autumn in the southern. ...


Engagement

Robert Begiebing et al (2004) summarize personal and professional experiences making successful modern films, novels, biographies, articles, museum displays, and poems. Even in these forms, storytellers try to create a sense of engagement or dialog with the audience. As a professor of English, Begiebing hypothesizes that the effective writer provides just enough clues to get the reader's imagination, intellect, and emotional responses involved in figuring out what is going on in the story. The stories that last through the ages "leave plenty up to the reader." A dialog or dialogue is a reciprocal conversation between two or more persons. ... The meaning of the word professor (Latin: one who claims publicly to be an expert) varies. ... Look up Hypothesis in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...


Use of perspectives

History museum expert Barbara Franco describes how good storytelling techniques can improve a museum exhibit. She illustrates the point when she says "good labels raise questions and get people thinking." The voice telling the story makes a great difference. First-person encourages the reader, audience, or visitor to the museum to listen and relate to a person, the speaker, not just to the recitation of facts. In literature and storytelling, a point of view is the related experience of the narrator — not that of the author. ...


An example of a first-person story is The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. There is also a "third person" perspective in which the main character is seen from the outside and the inside at the same time, heightening the reader's involvement in the story. The Great Gatsby is a novel by the American author F. Scott Fitzgerald. ... Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald (September 24, 1896 – December 21, 1940) was an American Jazz Age author of novels and short stories. ...


Mixes of viewpoints and voices assist in telling extremely complex stories. Franco says it this way. "Audience research has shown that visitors are more willing to deal with difficult topics in exhibitions if they are given multiple viewpoints and are able to hear different sides."


"Addressing the unfamiliar is one way to foster critical engagement," says Joshua Brown, filmmaker and historian. A good storyteller gives the listener or reader a sense of making order out of chaos. So the good storyteller must give the reader a good dose of feeling the chaos, and there has to follow enough order made out of the chaos to give the reader the satisfaction of a good story. There are several well-known men named Josh Brown or Joshua Brown. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article may require cleanup. ...


Non-linearity

However, the stories that appeal to generation after generation are the stories that are never resolvable - just as life is never resolvable; the complexity of life remains. Life is non-linear, says filmmaker David Grubin. If life were linear, we would always live in the present moment, but we don't. At any moment, we live in the past, partly in the present, and much in the future. Life is non-linear. And the best films convey that non-linearity of life in flashbacks and premonitions. Grubin tells his own experience of trying to capture on film what it was like to be Sigmund Freud. And Grubin's solution was to tell the childhood of Freud toward the end of the film when Freud is rehashing for himself the difficulties he had in creating psychoanalysis. And in that moment of complexity in his life, Freud reflects on the similar difficulties he had in his childhood in getting people to accept him. In literature and film, a flashback (also called analepsis) takes the narrative back in time from the point the story has reached, to recount events that happened before and give the back-story. ... Sigmund Freud (IPA: ), born Sigismund Schlomo Freud (May 6, 1856 – September 23, 1939), was an Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist who co-founded the psychoanalytic school of psychology. ... Psychoanalysis is a family of psychological theories and methods based on the work of Sigmund Freud. ...


In Grubin's estimation, Kurosawa similarly looked for non-linear storytelling techniques when he approached the problem of telling in Rashomon the very complex story of conflicting interests. Four different people are involved in a murder. They have different self-interests, and they have different stories of what happened. It is all one film, but it is four different stories with similar people and similar props in each of the four stories. Kurosawa does not give a clue to what really happened - as opposed to the four conflicting stories. The non-linearity of the storytelling adds to the popular appeal of this film. In the arts, the word nonlinear is used to describe events portrayed in a non-chronological manner. ... This article or section cites its sources but does not provide page references. ... Self-interest can refer to any of the following concepts: Egoism Selfishness Ethical egoism Psychological egoism Individualism Objectivist ethics Hedonism Epicureanism Enlightened self-interest This is a disambiguation page: a list of articles associated with the same title. ...


Questioning the author's authority

Kurt Vonnegut, in the guise of his narrator Philboyd Studge (who is modelled closely on Vonnegut's own biography) went even so far as to argue not only against linearity, but to call for the abolition of traditional plot characteristics altogether. In his novel Breakfast of Champions he opts instead for a kaleidoscopic view on the past, present, and future of the novel's characters as well as on his thoughts on writing the novel itself. He claims to do so in order to be more true to life: Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. ... The Narrator is the entity within a story that tells the story to the reader. ... For the breakfast cereal, see Wheaties. ... A toy kaleidoscope tube Pattern as seen through a kaleidoscope tube Pattern as seen through a kaleidoscope tube Pattern as seen through a kaleidoscope tube The kaleidoscope is a tube of mirrors containing, loose coloured beads or pebbles, or other small coloured objects. ...

"I resolved to shun storytelling. I would write about life. Every person would be exactly as important as any other. All facts would also be given equal weightiness. Let others bring order to chaos. I would bring chaos to order, instead, which I think I have done. If all writers would do that, then perhaps citizens not in the literary trades will understand that there is no order in the world around us, that we must adapt ourselves to the requirements of chaos instead."

In Vonnegut's novel, this particular form of narration (or lack thereof) serves to create empathy on the readers' side with the narrator's and his main protagonist's experience of an existential crisis. An existential crisis is a state of panic or feeling of intense psychological discomfort. ...


Emancipation of the Story

In oral tradition, where stories were passed on by being told and re-told again and again, the material of any given story during this process naturally underwent several changes and adaptations. When and where oral tradition was pushed back in favour of print media, the literary idea of the author as originator of a story's authoritative version changed people's perception of stories themselves. In the following centuries, stories tended to be seen as the work of individuals rather than a collective. Only recently, when a significant number of influential authors began questioning their own role, the value of stories as such - independent of authorship - was again recognized. Literary critics such as Roland Barthes even proclaimed the Death of the Author. The growing tradition of fanfiction may be seen in this manner. Look up adaptation in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Oral tradition or oral culture is a way of transmitting history, literature or law from one generation to the next in a civilization without a writing system. ... Print media includes newspapers, magazines, and the like. ... Old book bindings at the Merton College library. ... IDEA may refer to: Electronic Directory of the European Institutions IDEA League Improvement and Development Agency Individuals with Disabilities Education Act Indian Distance Education Association Integrated Data Environments Australia Intelligent Database Environment for Advanced Applications IntelliJ IDEA - a Java IDE Interactive Database for Energy-efficient Architecture International IDEA (International Institute... An author is any person(s) or entity(s) that originates and assumes responsibility for an expression or communication. ... Authority- is a very talented rocknroll band out of Columbia, S.C. This power rock trio has its roots in rock, funk, hardcore, and a dash of hip hop. ... In psychology and the cognitive sciences, perception is the process of acquiring, interpreting, selecting, and organizing sensory information. ... Roland Barthes Roland Barthes (November 12, 1915 – March 25, 1980) (pronounced ) was a French literary critic, literary and social theorist, philosopher, and semiotician. ... Death of the Author (1967) is an essay by the French literary critic Roland Barthes that was first published in the American journal Aspen. ... Fan fiction (also spelled fanfiction and commonly abbreviated to fanfic) is fiction written by people who enjoy a film, novel, television show or other media work, using the characters and situations developed in it and developing new plots in which to use these characters. ...


References

Begiebing, R., J. Brown, B. Franco, D. Grubin, R. Rosen & N. Trethewey. (2004). Interchange: Genres of history. Journal of American History 91 (Sept. 2004), 572-593.


Binder, Mark, EVERYTHING BEDTIME STORY BOOK. Avon, MA: Adams Media, 1999.


Brown, J. S., S. Denning, K. Groh & L. Prusak. Storytelling in Organizations : Why Storytelling Is Transforming 21st Century Organizations and Managemen. Butterworth-Heinemann, 2004


Bruner, J. ACTUAL MINDS, POSSIBLE WORLDS. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1986.


Bruner, J. MAKING STORIES. New York: Farrar, Strauss, and Giroux, 2002.


Gargiulo, Terrence L. Stories at Work: Using Stories to Improve Communication and Build Relationships. Praeger, 2006


Gargiulo, Terrence L. The Strategic Use of Stories in Organizational Communication and Learnin. M.E. Sharpe, 2005


Leitch, T. M. WHAT STORIES ARE: NARRATIVE THEORY AND INTERPRETATION. University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press. 1986.


Lord, Albert Bates. THE SINGER OF TALES. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2000.


McKee, Robert. Story: Substance, Structure, Style, and the Principles of Screenwriting. Regan Books, 1997.


Mitchoff, K. H. (2005, February) Ignite the story within: a librarian makes a case for using storytelling to increase literacy. School Library Journal. ERIC Document EJ710440.


Randall, W. "Restorying a Life: Adult Education and Transformative Learning." In AGING AND BIOGRAPHY: EXPLORATIONS IN ADULT DEVELOPMENT, edited by J. E. Birren et al., pp. 224-247. New York: Springer Publishing, 1996.


Reis, Pamela Tamarkin (2001). Genesis as Rashomon: The creation as told by God and man. Bible Review 17 (3).


Wiessner, C. A.Stories of Change: Narrative in Emancipatory Adult Education Ed. D. dissertation, Teachers College, Columbia University, 2001.


See also

The term dramatic structure refers to the parts into which a short story, a novel, a play, a screenplay, or a narrative poem can be divided. ... An overview of the Djemaa el Fna in the morning Djemaa el Fna (Arabic: جامع الفناء jâmiÊ» al-fanâʼ) is a square and market place in Marrakeshs medina quarter (old city). ... A marketplace is the space, actual or metaphorical, in which a market operates. ... Marrakech (مراكش marrākish), known as the Pearl of the South, is a city in southwestern Morocco in the foothills of the Atlas Mountains. ... Map showing the Masterpieces of Oral and Intangible Heritage by country designation as of 2005: red (countries with 4 designations), orange (3), yellow (2) and green (1). ... For a comparison of fable with other kinds of stories, see Myth, legend, fairy tale, and fable. ... A fairy tale is a story, either told to children or as if told to children, concerning the adventures of mythical characters such as fairies, goblins, elves, trolls, giants, and others. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Oral history is an account of something passed down by word of mouth from one generation to another. ... An Organization Story is defined as collective storytelling system in which the performance of stories is a key part of members sense-making and a means to allow them to supplement individual memories with institutional memory (Boje, 1991: 106). ... Storytelling has long been a feature of human societies, groups and organizations. ... A One Man Show or Solo Show is frequently performed by, but not limited to, Stand-up Comedians. ... . ... A storytelling game is a game where two or more persons collaborate on telling a spontaneous story. ... A storytelling festival is often an annual event that features local, regional and/or nationally known oral storytellers. ... In Ireland, in the days before books and printing, there was a class of people called seanachai or storytellers. ... Shuochang (Traditional Chinese: ; Simplified Chinese: ; pinyin: ; literally spoken song) is a form of traditional Chinese storytelling (or, more properly, story-singing), with many regional subgenres. ... Villu pattu is the art of story telling in India. ... Started in Sweden in 2003, World Storytelling Day has grown in a few short years to a global celebration of the art of oral storytelling, celebrated every year on the first day of spring in the northern hemisphere, the first day of autumn in the southern. ...

External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
Storytelling - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (2497 words)
Traditional storytelling differs from multi-media storytelling, in that it is experienced, and forms within the mind of the audience.
The youngest forms of storytelling were oral, combined with gesture and expression: words were spoken from one person to another in an effort to communicate a message or a feeling.
Storytellers sometimes dialogue with their audience, adjusting their words to respond to the listeners and to the moment.
Storytelling - definition of Storytelling in Encyclopedia (1549 words)
Storytelling is the art of portraying in words, images, and sounds what has happened in real or imagined events.
Storytellers dialogue with their audience-- adjusting their words to respond to the listeners and adjust to the moment.
Modern storytellers may be actors, singers, rappers and comedians.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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