In search of a storytelling ‘grid’ | Part IV

By Limor Shiponi

‘Grid’ is now in inverted commas since it’s obvious the final form cannot be 2D and most probably not 3D either. It’s only a matter of convenience to keep presenting them that way (creating illustration 4 was already quite a challenge for me; please forgive any imprecision).

By now I have on the ‘grid’ the core model of storytelling (messenger, utterance and witness), the inner threefold of a storytelling event (patterned movement/voice, thought/story-text and relationship/gesture), we know all this moves along time, is synergized by the oral element and adapts to a specific telling event. This is only the beginning of the complexity…

This time I’m presenting what seems obvious but might not be well enough articulated; while the storytelling event goes on along a specific period of time and in a specific place, all three partners in this exchange are influencing one another. At the same time each of them influence his/her/it’s own world. The effects in patterned movement, thought and relationship are carried away to places external to the place of assembly. There they influence other ‘worlds’ and issues the partners are busy with provoking new ideas, insights and understandings, somatic feelings (in the body) that might ignite action of some kind and a stronger sense of ‘us’ even if it is solely about helping a single listener strengthen his feeling of identity.

Right now, I think these effects although vast, are finite. They end at the end of all possible narratives elicited for all partners in a single telling. To be continued…

9 thoughts on “In search of a storytelling ‘grid’ | Part IV”

  1. This works for me – terrifically hard to create a pictorial representation of such a multi-dimensional schema – good job!

    To me this suggests worlds not colliding but intersecting, with the conditions (for want of a better word) on each world interdependent on the others.

    I find this very satisfying, but then I’m convinced that storytelling is deeply embedded in our consciousness, and is the prime mechanism we employ to construct the unique and individual world each of us carries around in our head. I think it’s instinctive, it’s how we explain the world to ourselves, and oral storytelling is the only form that allows such deep access to our world-making selves…maybe why it’s so hard to pin down (like trying to see the back of your own head)

    In passing, appropo of nothing I can put my finger on, it occurs to me that the boundary of two intersecting spheres will always be a closed curve (not necessarily circular, though)

    1. Allan, can you please help me understand “it occurs to me that the boundary of two intersecting spheres will always be a closed curve (not necessarily circular, though)” I think I can’t capture “the boundary” – where is it in the illustration? it will help me understand.

      1. Could be I’m misinterpreting your diagramme – I was taking all of the triadic circular shapes to be spherical. By ‘boundary’ I mean the intersection of each of the spheres with the ‘place’ tube – geometrically a closed curve, whether it’s circular or not will depend on the angle of intersection.

        It was just a passing thought, not sure what to make of it, but one of the measures of a good model is that it allows you to see things in a new way, or that it suggests new relationships between things, even if it’s not immediately apparent what they might mean….

        1. You are absolutely right but for now I’m trying to flatten it in a way so separate parts can be examined. Eventually, all parts work spherically.

          1. OK, thought so – still thinking about whether there’s anything interesting to be drawn from boundary curves 🙂

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    1. Allan Richard Davies

      Um…well yes, it must, as Limor says, if the word ‘telling’ is involved, that’s what it means. This is not just mere pedantry, given the current trend to (mis)appropriate the phrase for all sorts of other activities, it’s important to those of us who make a living as oral performers.
      This is not to say that there aren’t many other ways of putting a narrative across, just that story telling properly means just that : the oral communication (telling) of stories.

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