Importance Of Storytelling To Human Progress

922 words - 4 pages

Sharing experience is not an occasional but a systematic activity of our species, a form of information exchange and social organization. Teachable experience takes an individual receiving an advanced template of behavior much further in his success in life. Sharing and teaching experience have become so intrinsic and advantageous for our species that an investigation of what forms of sharing/teaching are most effective – the best stories and the best ways if taking them - naturally came into play. Before long, such activities as storytelling and playing (ritual and drama) have come to the attention of human communities around the world. Storytelling and its dramatic counterpart – playing, have becomes essential to our progress as the species.
In the 1920s Mikhail Bakhtin, a Russian philosopher of culture, named the “patron of the humanities in the 1990s) also introduced his theory of dialogism, which became the basis of a new discipline dialogical anthropology. Bakhtin suggested that the dialog is an essential human condition, and a framework of culture, and all its derivatives – texts, stories, films, games, etc. In other words, we always are thinking together, and even we are alone – we create a symbolic imaginary interlocutor to run our ideas by and mimic communication. This idea was wittily reflected in Cast Away, in which Tom Hanks character, alone on the uninhibited island, creates a symbolic being he named Wilson. The ideas of Tuner and BKHTIN correlate on many levels – as a human species we are in constant dialogue with ourselves – thus dialogue is a channel for the productive action-reflection process. In addition to be in a dialogue with ourselves – and this is how we think, as Bakhtin has shown, we are also in never-ending dialogue with others. Our dialogues are part of the experience-sharing processes: we constantly discuss the stories we heard or watched together, engaging in the dialogues with others about the shared experiences – revealed in the stories. Different narrators since before Homer, including the modern day filmmakers, re-interpreter old stories all the time, thus engaging in the dialogues with the authors who lived before them, and with the modern day audiences – on how to read anew the old stories and derive novel lessons from them. Thus, the Bakhtinian dialogical processes include t least three levels of refection and experience-sharing: 1) inner dialogue with self, which was termed stream of consciousness in literature, and often used as “the first person narration, or voice over” in film; 2) dialogue with others about a story or film, inevitably discussing human experience; 3) dialogue with the texts or with the authors of the past on the meaning and possible re-interpretation of their story, which is termed hermeneutics, intertextuality, and metatextuality – all are the forms of interpretation of reality and experience through the interpretation of...

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