The Storyteller Speaks
I’ve described my artistic demeanor here in these pages (pages?) previously as a ‘narrativist’, by which I’ve mean someone who puts a premium on getting the point across that so troubles the mind those long late nights, whether it’s the price of oil or your own personal heartbreak. Leaving the experiements in didactic theory to the art school kids, the term ‘narrativist’ was never meant to be strictly about telling a literal story or an anecdote: you can be a narrativist and not a storyteller, but maybe not vice versa, if you follow me, though some efforts to the contrary may end up making this little theory of mine look like so much bunk.
Happily, in the business of my chosen poison, comics, I happen to be both. So it was with great joy that Molly directed me to this interview with Ira Glass about what he sees as the two main anchors of any good storytelling excercise, namely, The Anecdote and The Point. Considering the great success of This American Life as a now near-franchise, and it’s consistent achievement in the face of increasing popularity (a tough hoop to jump through), he’s prolly a good guy to listen to.
As a side note, notice he never mentions accuracy or “truth”, two overrated concepts that any good storytelling effort should echew like a LA Times subscription. I sometimes get in trouble with Molly after a night of drinking, when she’ll turn to me and say: “That story you told was way more interesting than what actually happened!” I think I’m missing the part of brain that sees anything wrong with that. I mean, sure, if I was a scientist or journalist, I could see the issue: but as it stands, I consider stretching the truth part of my research.