Storytelling is the conveying of events in words, images and sounds, often by improvisation or embellishment. Stories or narratives have been shared in every culture as a means of entertainment, education, cultural preservation and in order to instill moral values. Crucial elements of stories and storytelling include plot, characters and narrative point of view.
- And he said, 'Sit down then, that I may give you my story from the beginning until now.' And he said, 'Give it me, I am already set down.'
- (Akamwambia, kaa kitako bassi, nikupe kisa changu toka mwanzo hatta sasa. Akamwambia, nipe, nimekwisha kaa kitako.)
- The storyteller is a man who has counsel for his readers. But if today "having counsel" is beginning to have an old-fashioned ring, this is because the communicability of experience is decreasing. In consequence we have no counsel either for ourselves or for others. After all, counsel is less an answer to a question than a proposal concerning the continuation of a story which is just unfolding. To seek this counsel one would first have to be able to tell the story. ... Counsel woven into the fabric of real life is wisdom. The art of storytelling is reaching its end because the epic side of truth, wisdom, is dying out.
- Walter Benjamin, "The Storyteller"
- A schoolboy's tale, the wonder of an hour!
- A story, in which native humour reigns,
Is often useful, always entertains;
A graver fact, enlisted on your side,
May furnish illustration, well applied;
But sedentary weavers of long tales
Give me the fidgets, and my patience fails.
- William Cowper, Conversation (1782), line 203.
- At the same time, though, studio heads and producers have been relatively quick to welcome back actors, directors, and writers who’ve been accused of harassment and assault, particularly when their status makes them seem irreplaceable. It’s a dual-edged message: Don’t abuse your power, but if you do, you’ll still have a career. Part of the confusion comes down to the fact that these men are seen as invaluable because the stories they tell are still understood to have disproportionate worth. When the slate of new fall TV shows is filled with father-and-son buddy-cop stories and prison-break narratives and not one but two gentle, empathetic examinations of male grief, it’s harder to imagine how women writers and directors might step up to occupy a sudden void. When television and film are fixated on helping audiences find sympathy for troubled, selfish, cruel, brilliant men, it’s easier to believe that the troubled, brilliant men in real life also deserve empathy, forgiveness, and second chances. And so the tangible achievements one year into the #MeToo movement need to be considered hand in hand with the fact that the stories being told haven’t changed much at all, and neither have the people telling them. A true reckoning with structural disparities in the entertainment industry will demand something else as well: acknowledging that women’s voices and women’s stories are not only worth believing, but also worth hearing. At every level.
- Sophie Gilbert, “The Men of #MeToo Go Back to Work“, The Atlantic, (Oct 12, 2018).
- When thou dost tell another's jest, therein
Omit the oaths, which true wit cannot need;
Pick out of tales the mirth, but not the sin.
- George Herbert, The Temple (1633), The Church Porch, Stanza 11.
- I cannot tell how the truth may be;
I say the tale as 'twas said to me.
- Walter Scott, The Lay of the Last Minstrel (1805), Canto II, Stanza 22.
- I could a tale unfold whose lightest word
Would harrow up thy soul, freeze thy young blood,
Make thy two eyes, like stars, start from their spheres,
Thy knotted and combined locks to part
And each particular hair to stand on end,
Like quills upon the fretful porpentine.
- Which his fair tongue—conceit's expositor—
Delivers in such apt and gracious words,
That aged ears play truant at his tales,
And younger hearings are quite ravished.
- And thereby hangs a tale.
Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations
- Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 755.
- In this spacious isle I think there is not one
But he hath heard some talk of Hood and Little John,
Of Tuck, the merry friar, which many a sermon made
In praise of Robin Hood, his outlaws, and their trade.
- Michael Drayton, Polyolbion.
- This story will never go down.
- Henry Fielding, Tumble-Down Dick, Air I.
- Ich weiss nicht was soll es bedeuten,
Dass ich so traurig bin:
Ein Märchen aus alten Zeiten
Das kommt mir nicht aus dem Sinn.
- In vain would I seek to discover
Why sad and mournful am I,
My thoughts without ceasing brood over
A tale of the times gone by.
- Heinrich Heine, Die Lorelei. E. A. Bowring's translation.
- In vain would I seek to discover
- Soft as some song divine, thy story flows.
- Homer, The Odyssey, Book XI, line 458. Pope's translation.
- I hate
To tell again a tale once fully told.
- Homer, The Odyssey, Book XII, line 566. Bryant's translation.
- And what so tedious as a twice-told tale.
- Homer, The Odyssey, Book XII. Last line. Pope's translation.
- Quid rides?
Mutato nomine de te fabula narratur.
- Why do you laugh? Change but the name, and the story is told of yourself.
- Horace, Satires, I. 1. 69.
- But that's another story.
- Rudyard Kipling, Mulvaney, Soldiers Three. Farquhar, Recruiting Officer, last scene. Sterne, Tristram Shandy, Chapter XVII.
- It is a foolish thing to make a long prologue, and to be short in the story itself.
- II Maccabees, II. 32.
- An' all us other children, when the supper things is done,
We set around the kitchen fire an' has the mostest fun
A-list'nin' to the witch tales 'at Annie tells about
An' the gobble-uns 'at gits you
- James Whitcomb Riley, Little Orphant Annie.
- For seldom shall she hear a tale
So sad, so tender, yet so true.
- William Shenstone, Jemmy Dawson, Stanza 20.
- With a tale forsooth he cometh unto you, with a tale which holdeth children from play, and old men from the chimney corner.
- Sir Philip Sidney, The Defense of Poesy.
- In after-dinner talk,
Across the walnuts and the wine.
- Alfred Tennyson, The Miller's Daughter.
- A tale in everything.
- William Wordsworth, Simon Lee.