Monday, May 14, 2007

Stories are the most important thing in the world

At the official site for the His Dark Materials trilogy (of which The Golden Compass is being adapted for film), the "about the author" on the creator Philip Pullman features a wonderful epigram at the outset of his biography:

"Stories are the most important thing in the world. Without stories, we wouldn't be human beings at all."

That's certainly bold but it sums up what I've believed for a long time, and the coda validates the boldness.

Stories certainly do make us human just as they reflect our humanity. What would we be without Arthur or Gilgamesh? More importantly would we be where we are?

Though the passage to biblical scholars is fraught with more complex meaning, authors are fond of invoking John 1:1 "In the beginning was the Word..."

And it's true, the word is what carries forward, preserves and analyzes culture.

Pullman's is a wonderful thought and well worth sharing.

Go tell the Spartans.

5 comments:

Charles Gramlich said...

Words change the world. Even more when they're written down than just spoken.

Clifford said...

I'm pretty certain my cats dream. Are dreams stories? Are cats human? Hmm...this will definitely require more thought on my part.

Kate S said...

Interesting, Sidney. I've been pondering this for days, searching out similarities in stories and myths (although many others have already done so before me, I'm just trying to come to my own conclusions before testing them out.)

Even where I work right now (in the learning & development department of a hospital) they are focusing on the importance of stories as teaching devices and tools. There's a big push for us to "share our stories" in staff meetings. (Gah - as if those meetings weren't torture enough!)

I've threatened to tell some of MY stories... not sure they could handle it. (evil grin)

Sidney said...

Very true, Charles. The written word has provided the most lasting stories.

Cliff, I'm suddenly thinking of the Philip K. Dick title "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep." I think my cats dream of non-organic cat food, food with lots of flavor and preservatives which seems to be what they like.

Kate, I didn't realize you worked in a hospital. I don't mention it much here but healthcare is what I market.

Kate S said...

I didn't know that Sidney. So you're one of the evil minions... *grin*

So your kitties still haven't adapted to the organic food?

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