Storyteller Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 108 quotes )
There's a peculiar dichotomy in the nature of almost anyone who calls himself a historian. Such scholars all piously assure us that they're telling us the real truth about what really happened, but if you turn any competent historian over and look at his damp underside, you'll find a storyteller, and you can believe me when I tell you that no storyteller's ever going to tell a story without a few embellishments. Add to that the fact that we've all got assorted political and theological preconceptions that are going to color what we write, and you'll begin to realize that no history of any event is entirely reliable...
There are three points of view from which a writer can be considered: he may be considered as a storyteller, as a teacher, and as an enchanter. A major writer combines these three? storyteller, teacher, enchanter? but it is the enchanter in him that predominates and makes him a major writer...The three facets of the great writer? magic, story, lesson? are prone to blend in one impression of unified and unique radiance, since the magic of art may be present in the very bones of the story, in the very marrow of thought...Then with a pleasure which is both sensual and intellectual we shall watch the artist build his castle of cards and watch the castle of cards become a castle of beautiful steel and glass.
The Hindustani storyteller always knows when he loses his audience," he said. "Because the audience simply gets up and leave, or else it throws vegetables, or, if the audience is the king, it occasionally throws the storyteller headfirst off the city ramparts. And in this case, my dear Mogor-Uncle, the audience is indeed the king.
There's always moral instruction whether the writer inserts it deliberately or not. The least effective moral instruction in fiction is that which is consciously inserted. Partly because it won't reflect the storyteller's true beliefs, it will only reflect what he BELIEVES he believes, or what he thinks he should believe or what he's been persuaded of. But when you write without deliberately expressing moral teachings, the morals that show up are the ones you actually live by. The beliefs that you don't even think to question, that you don't even notice-- those will show up. And that tells much more truth about what you believe than your deliberate moral machinations.
The store of fairy tales, that blue chamber where stories lie waiting to be rediscovered, holds out the promise of just those creative enchantments, not only for its own characters caught in its own plotlines; it offers magical metamorphoses to the one who opens the door, who passes on what was found there, and to those who hear what the storyteller brings. The faculty of wonder, like curiosity can make things happen; it is time for wishful thinking to have its due.
There was once, in the country of Alifbay, a sad city, the saddest of cities, a city so ruinously sad that it had forgotten its name. It stood by a mournful sea full of glumfish, which were so miserable to eat that they made people belch with melancholy even though the skies were blue...And in the depths of the city, beyond an old zone of ruined buildings that look like broken hearts, there lived a happy young fellow by name of Haroun, the only child of the storyteller Rashid Khalifa, whose cheerfulness was famous throughout that unhappy metropolis, and whose never-ending stream of tall, and winding tales had earned him not one but two nicknames. To his admirers he was Rashid the Ocean of Notions, as stuffed with cheery stories as the sea was full of glumfish; but to his jealous rivals he was the Shah of Blah.
A man listening to a story is in the company of the storyteller; even a man reading one shares this companionship. The reader of a novel, however, is isolated, more so than any other reader(For even the reader of a poem is ready to utter the words, for the benet of the listener.) In this solitude of his, the reader ofa novel seizes upon his material more jealously than anyone else. He is ready to make it completely his own, to devour it, as it were. Indeed, he destroys, he swallows up the material as the re devours logs in the replace. The suspense which permeates the novel isvery much like the draft which stimulates the ame in the replace and enlivens its play.
What is man, when you come to think upon him, but a minutely set, ingenious machine for turning, with infinite artfulness, the red wine of Shiraz into urine? You may even ask which is the more intense craving and pleasure: to drink or to make water. But in the meantime, what has been done? A song has been composed, a kiss taken, a slanderer slain, a prophet begotten, a righteous judgment given, a joke made. The world drank in the young story-teller Mira. He went to its head, he ran in its veins, he made it glow with warmth and color. Now I am on my way down a little; the effect has worn off. The world will soon be equally pleased to piss me out again, and I do not know but that I am pressing on a little myself. But the tales which I made—they shall last.
Again, Homer felt the nudge in his ribs, and Mr. Rose said, mildly, ‘You all so uneducated – Homer’s havin’ a little fun with you.’ When the bottle of rum passed from man to man, Mr. Rose just passed it along. ‘Don’t the name Homer mean nothin’ to you?’ Mr. Rose asked the men. ‘I think I heard of it,’ the cook Black Pan said. ‘Homer was the world’s first storyteller!’ Mr. Rose announced. The nudge at Homer’s ribs was back, and Mr. Rose said, ‘Our Homer knows a good story, too.
The fairy tale, which to this day is the first tutor of children because it was once the first tutor of mankind, secretly lives on in the story. The first true storyteller is, and will continue to be, the teller of fairy tales. Whenever good counsel was at a premium, the fairy tale had it, and where the need was greatest, its aid was nearest. This need was created by myth. The fairy tale tells us of the earliest arrangements that mankind made to shake off the nightmare which myth had placed upon its chest.
Everything I know, everything I put in my fiction, will hurt someone somewhere as surely as it will comfort and enlighten someone else. What then is my responsibility? What am I to restrain? What am I to fear and alter--my own nakedness or the grief of the reader? I want my stories to be so good they are unforgettable; to make my ideas live and my own terrors real for people I will never meet. It is a completely amoral writer's lust. If we begin to agree that some ideas are too dangerous, too bad to invite inside our heads, then we stop the storyteller completely. We silence everyone who would tell us something that might be painful in our vulnerable moments.
A storyteller who provided us with such a profusion of details would rapidly grow maddening. Unfortunately, life itself often subscribes to this mode of storytelling, wearing us out with repetition, misleading emphases and inconsequential plot lines. It insists on showing us Bardak Electronics, the saftey handle in the car, a stray dog, a Christmas card and a fly that lands first on the rim and then in the centre of the ashtray.Which explains how the curious phenomenon whereby valuable elements may be easier to experience in art and in anticipation than in reality. The anticipatory and artistic imaginations omit and compress; they cut away the periods of boredom and direct our attention to critical moments, and thus, without either lying or embellishing, they lend to life a vividness and a coherence that it may lack in the distracting wooliness of the present.
I had no respect whatsoever for the creative works of either the painter or the novelist. I thought Karabekian with his meaningless pictures had entered into a conspiracy with millionaires to make poor people feel stupid. I thought Beatrice Keedsler had joined hands with other old-fashioned storytellers to make people believe that life had leading characters, minor characters, significant details, insignificant details, that it had lessons to be learned, tests to be passed, and a beginning, a middle, and an end.