April 24, 2016 at 12:15PM
"Storytellers do not convert their listeners; they do not move them to truth, they offer only vision." #readingToday

Storytellers do not convert their listeners; they do not move them into the territory of a superior truth. Ignoring the issue of truth and falsehood altogether, they offer only vision. Storytelling is therefore not combative; it does not succeed or fail. A story cannot be obeyed. Instead of placing one body of knowledge against another, storytellers invite us to return from knowledge to thinking, from a bounded way of looking to an horizonal way of seeing.

Infinite speakers are Plato's poietai taking their place in the historical. Storytellers enter the historical not when their speaking is full of anecdotes about actual persons, or when they appear as characters in their own tales, but when in their speaking we begin to see the narrative character of our lives. The stories they tell touch us. What we thought was an accidental sequence of experiences suddenly takes the dramatic shape of unresolved narrative.

There is no narrative without structure, or plot. In a great story this structure seems like fate, like an inescapable judgment descending on its still unaware heroes, a great metaphysical causality that crowds out all room for choice. Fate arises not as a limitation on our freedom, but as a manifestation of our freedom, testimony that choice is consequent. The exercise of your freedom cannot prevent the exercise of my own freedom, but it can determine the context in which I am to act freely. You cannot make choices for me, but you can largely determine what my choices will be about. Great stories explore the drama of this deeper touching of one free person by another.

Finite and Infinite Games" by James Carse

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