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Storytelling

  • She has told me that she was attracted by the art of storytellers more than by any other—those Oriental storytellers who sit in marketplaces and hold beneath their words a group of people who have the faces of nurslings who are suckling. The sand of time flows away and the whole sun lies like a cloak upon the shoulders of the storyteller.

    • Adrienne Monnier,
    • 1936, in Richard McDougall, tr., The Very Rich Hours of Adrienne Monnier ()
  • Imagination, which is the Eldorado of the poet and of the novel-writer, often proves the most pernicious gift to the individuals who compose the talkers instead of the writers in society.

  • I was raised by and have raised people who regard telling one story when two would do as a sign someone is not really trying.

  • That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

    • Margery Allingham,
    • "The Name on the Wrapper," in Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine ()
  • This unceasing interplay between experience and narrative is a uniquely human attribute. We are the storytellers, the ones who put life into words.

  • ... storytelling reveals meaning without committing the error of defining it ...

  • ... what storyteller is adequate to her story? The story carries us along, bottles on the tide, each with our secret mesage and the fervent hope that it does not turn out to be blank.

  • The earliest voice listened to by the nations in their infancy was the voice of the storyteller.

  • Telling our story seems to be one of the basic human instincts, almost as strong as the instinct to stay alive or care for our children. Even when it is clearly not in their interest to do so, people can rarely resist an opportunity to tell the story of their own lives.

  • Where the story-teller is loyal, eternally and unswervingly loyal to the story, there, in the end, silence will speak. Where the story has been betrayed, silence is but emptiness.

  • I belong to an ancient, idle, wild and useless tribe, perhaps I am even one of the last members of it, who for many thousands of years, in all countries and parts of the world, has, now and again, stayed for a time among the hard-working honest people in real life, and sometimes has thus been fortunate enough to create another sort of reality for them, which in some way or another, has satisfied them. I am a storyteller.

    • Isak Dinesen,
    • in Donald Hannah, "Isak Dinesen" and Karen Blixen: The Mask and the Reality ()
  • Human beings are storytelling animals. That's what separates us from other creatures, not just having thumbs or using tools.

  • In Harlan, Kentucky, we told stories the way some people play music. ... In the mountains, storytelling is truly an art form, and as much recreation as communication.

    • Maxine Cheshire,
    • in Maxine Cheshire, with John Greenya, Maxine Cheshire, Reporter ()
  • To me and my kind life itself is a story and we have to tell it in stories — that is the way it falls.

  • Every man is bound to leave a story better than he found it.

  • Great story tellers show us an image of themselves, their deepdown selves, but they show us a picture of us, too. Always, like an after-image, a visual echo, we see ourselves as we listen.

    • Lillian Smith,
    • 1953, in Margaret Rose Gladney, ed., How Am I to Be Heard? Letters of Lillian Smith ()
  • ... the announcement that you are going to tell a good story (and the chuckle that precedes it) is always a dangerous opening.

  • Never follow a story with a question, Maisie, not immediately. And remember to acknowledge the storyteller, for in some way even the messenger is affected by the story he brings.

  • ... for most Southerners, storytelling is as natural as breathing.

  • From the kitchen she hears laughter; and the clatter of dishes. Charis is setting out the food, Roz is telling a story. That's what they will do, increasingly in their lives: tell stories.

  • Storytelling bridges the generational gaps in ideology.

  • I tell stories to music and, thank God, in tune.

  • Begin your story with a sentence that will immediately grab hold of your listener's ears like a surly nun in a Catholic school.

  • Storytelling is the oldest form of education.

  • Everybody in my family is a talented storyteller. We can't play team sports, we have a tiny little problem with drinking, and we're all pretty dysfunctional about money — but man oh man, can we tell a good story.