On Story

On Story

“If mankind does not keep its myths alive and unbroken, myth will enact itself through men.”
the late P. L. Travers, author of the Mary Poppins books

“The babe in the cradle knows about the dragon. He needs the stories to know about St. George.”
G.K. Chesterton (paraphrased from his essay “The Red Angel” in Tremendous Trifles, 1909)

“Folktales are the right shape to fit into the mind, and be remembered.”
Tim Sheppard

“Folk tales are ageless. Rooted in antiquity, reborn with each new telling,
they address that part of us which does not change as we move through our lives.
Adults feel youthful, children feel grown-up. We listen, time changes, and we become ageless too.”

Tim Jennings, from his cassette Weatherbeard and Other Folk Stories

[About children listening to adult stories:]
“Most of life is over the heads of little kids. Looking up at it is how they grow.”

Tim Jennings

[On the teller as conduit for the story:]
“I would rather be the doorway than the painting on the wall.”

Olive Shaughnessy
Storytell email list 25/3/20

“Stories ain’t never done no harm to nobody. And if they don’t do no good, how come they last so long?”
Uncle Remus, from the Disney film Song of the South

“Traditional narrations ... [are] a fundamental part of our cultural heritage and our collective memory, although they are not made of stone and they cannot be seen in a museum.”
Professor Eloy Martos Núñez, Universidad de Extremadura, in the Prologue to Cuentos y Leyendas de España y Portugal / Contos e Lendas de Espanha e Portugal, I Seminario Internacional [1996], Editorial Regional de Extremadura, 1997. Author of La Casa Encantada – The Enchanted House.

“You are more authentic the more you resemble what you’ve dreamed you are.”
La Agrado in the Almodóvar film Todo Sobre Mi Madre

[About telling scary stories to children:]
“A story is a safe place to confront fears and experience thrills.”

June Barnes-Rowley, Australian storyteller

“It is pleasant to be afraid when we are conscious that we are in no kind of danger.”
Virginia Woolf on ghost stories

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