Professional Storyteller

Share a Story - Change the World

Another single storytelling survey question..

What would a world without story look like?

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I do not think it can be described for language is the handmaiden of story and we have agreement on what "is" based on our shared stories. A world without story would be random and meaningless or perhaps a version of "the tower of Babel" with chaos on every tongue.
As empty as a marshwiggle's view of the desert and that would provoke a story too... wouldn't it?
I'd like to think even without story, that the human brain could still appreciate metaphor, imagery, and creativity. And thus spoken word artists would be: list-makers.

Everyone knows how to make a list.

But the artists... they can make a list mean more than a list.
Wim Wenders did this to great effect it two scenes in his 1987 film, Wings of Desire (Der Himmel über Berlin).

There's one scene where Cassiel and Damiel, two angels whose mission is to "observe, collect, testify, preserve" life in Berlin, take out their notebooks and share their lists with each other.
(Youtube link, scene starts at 0:40)

And another, where Damiel places his hands on the head of a dying man (Youtube link, scene starts at 4:18) and to comfort him, evokes images from the man's life.

Certainly, for us, enveloped in a narrative frame of reference, we project a story onto these lists. But these moments contain prima facie lists, not intended as a beginning, middle, and end, or as a rising dramatic arc. They are, rather, a naming of moments. This naming still has the power to resonate emotionally with an audience, and create moments of beauty, even without a story.
Like a single sound. The beauty is in the eye (or ear) of the beholder.
That's weird, Tim, I just watched Wings of Desire two weeks ago. I absolutely loved it, except for the ending. That woman would just NOT be still. She was all words with no story.
(It's one of my favorite movies, I've seen it multiple times, but I still can't figure out what that woman is saying. Sometimes I think Wim Wenders just said to Peter Handke, "just write something, anything. Go nuts." And Handke did.)
You neither? I think it's some bizarre amalgamation of Goethe, Nietschze (sp?) Hegel and any other German philosopher Handke had ever read. LOL

If only he had continued on the Rilke theme that made the rest of the film so soulful.
Computer circuitry. Orwell's 1984 with the addition of Tivo, Blackberry, iPods and 24/7 ambient noise, so there is not a single second for reflection; ThoughtCrime eradicated. An ant farm. A mental institution where everyone is drugged or lobotomized, including the staff, who forgot why they came there in the first place. Shoot first, ask questions later. Global clearcut.
It would be a world without understanding
This is a difficult question. My only answer can be, what would the world be like without colour, smell, sound.

Black and white, in every moment, no dream, no imagination, just plain flat ground. Mechanical.
Picturing what is the nature of story seems to require picturing the story of nature. I think a world without story would be both brutal and sublime.




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