Sunday, November 26, 2017

How toTell a Story: Massey Lectures 2003 by Thomas King

     Thomas King. The Truth About Stories: A Native Narrative (2003 Massey Lectures) A book worth reading. My take-away:
     We are our stories. But few of us are willing to accept that, until perhaps someone we know loses their stories as they fade into dementia. But a tribe or nation also is its stories. The stories we tell each other makes us a family, a village, a tribe, a nation. The stories others tell about us impinge on, intersect with, and conflict with the stories we tell about ourselves. If we have no stories of our own, or if no one listens to our stories, the stories told by others prevent them from seeing us as we see ourselves, seeing ourselves as we are.  That’s why being heard, being able to tell our stories, matters, even though story cannot change the past, for telling our stories will affect the future. It will change how the teller and the hearer tell the stories to come.
     King begins every lecture with the story of the Earth resting on the back of a turtle. What holds up the turtle? “It’s turtles all the way down.” Then he tells stories loosely organised around a theme or topic. He ends each lecture with “But don’t say in the years to come that you’d have lived you life differently if only you had heard this story. You’ve heard it now.”
     This series of narratives is I think the seed for The Inconvenient Indian. King is one of the wisest people I have ever met. I’d like to meet him in person. Read the book. ****

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