Made of Stories

Very little has stuck with me from my 18 months of Communications and Journalism. Snippets about newsworthiness, communication theory, feature writing and so on come back every now and then. One lecture, however, sticks in my head. It was the first lecture in a subject for my Journalism major, called “Storytelling, Narrative and Features.” Well-known journalist David Dale came in and set out telling us about the story of stories. What followed was arguably the most interesting lecture. David told of Chaucer, a storyteller paid in wine. He outlined how good feature journalism was doing the same as fiction: gathering ideas, doing detailed research and then telling a story. It’s about virtual reality – creating the scene that can’t be immediately seen, or created by others. The characters tell the story. David suggested that despite the common motif, storytelling may be the world’s oldest profession: perhaps some primitive man offered to sacrifice a piece of his dinner to hear his neighbour tell the tale of his hunting that day. Regardless, a good story enthrals the audience. What’s more, David managed to do that as he spoke – the story of stories was engaging, and created in us a high view of the task ahead of us.

There’s something powerful in a good story. Continue reading

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On Boggarts

Consider your boggart and much can be learned.

There’s an office, dim and somewhat dusty. Its occupant is often absent, and takes little care of his space. He’s there now, though, and there’s someone with him: a youth, there to learn. He stands, facing the drawer in the filing cabinet. It’s time. Lupin opens the cabinet. The boggart is out. It’s a dark shape: large, hooded, menacing. Gliding. This is what Harry is here for: he’s here to face his fear – the dementor.

There’s something powerful and revealing about fear. Despite the comical situations in Lupin’s boggart classes, the boggart touches on something profound it’s about being brought up against your fear.

Capture

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First Listen: Cavalier by James Vincent McMorrow

Cracker of a song! Also, props to G-trav, always enjoy his posts over at “i heard a song today.” Dig it.

i heard a song today

A few years back James Vincent McMorrow released an album that received a fair bit of justified love. It was quite unabashedly a folk album, recorded in a few months of solitude  in a cabin in Ireland. Yes, I know that in this post-Bon Iver epoch, such narratives are now sneered at, but he seems like an earnest guy. One thing that just about anyone could say of McMorrow is that his voice is sublime. Another things is that his surname sounds like a McDonalds campaign suggesting you should make dinner plans a day early: ‘have a day off, have a McMorrow.’

I didn’t actually buy his first album, but a mate claimed the songs weren’t great. I have listened to it though, and it seemed like something I’d be very interested in listening to somewhat regularly for a short-to-moderate period of time. But forget the old album, Twitter…

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