ENG215H1 Lecture Notes - Colloquialism, Superiority Complex, Thrall

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Published on 18 Apr 2013
Lect 3 – Oral Storytelling
January 15, 2013.
Both authors claim stories as extremely important
Thomas King: “the truth about stories is that that's all we are”
“there isn't any centre to the world but a story”
writer of Bread: I'm not a person to speak much about emotions...my writing reveals much more
about how I feel
Bread is a testament to the power revelation of a first person revelation
Boyd, an anthropologist – sharing more info than we can glean on our own trains us to explore
actuality and possibility; develop social awareness through stories
J. Edward Chamberlin (If This is Your Land, Where Are Your Stories?)
we all have stories that hold us in thrall and hold others at bay. What we share is the practice
of believing, which we become adept at very early in our lives; and it is this practice that
generates the power of stories
white officials claimed ownership to land, an aboriginal elder asked: “if this is your land,
where are your stories?”, and then told a story in his own language
“stories make the world more real, more rational, by bringing us closer to the irrational
mystery at its centre. Why is there so much suffering in the world? Whose land is this we
live on? How much is enough?”
our written culture – schools, hospitals etc – are strongly based on a kind of highly
formalized oral traditions; and oral cultures have all kinds of written activities present
the hierarchy we perceive between oral and written is false
Why are stories important?
Identities are constructed through the telling of stories
especially important for indigenous writers – to be able to tell your own story is
empowering and politically significant
Engagement between readers
Harry Robinson
born in 1900, grew up in a small village
long time rancher
saw himself as the last storyteller of his ppl
spent long times with his grandma and other elders to hear all the stories
wanted to preserve this narrative tradition
died 1990
3 collections through collaboration with Wendy Wickwire
Writing Style
demands to be read with rhythm and oral infliction
lots of repetition
function of oral storyteller – repetition ensures the listeners understands, and stresses
important points
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