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The Way of the Storyteller Reprint Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
First, the positives. Ms. Sawyer is a passionate and eloquent advocate of oral storytelling as an art form unto itself. She draws on a lifetime of experience and travel to argue that the art is worthy of an approach by practitioners that is reverent, rigorous, and passionate. She advocates that storytellers study subjects like music, voice, folklore and culture to deepen their art. There is also a fine selection of folk-tales that comprises the entire second half of the book.
All of this is very good--but in my opinion amounts to little more than a pep-talk for librarians who want to tell stories to children. As proof of this I would cite that when Ms. Saywer revised the book in the Sixties she only added two chapters, one on children's literature and another on adding poetry (for children) to the story hour. Telling stories to children is a fine ambition--it's just not one this reader shares.
However, there is plenty in the book that can be applied to other storytelling venues. But, as the author herself admits in the introduction, she has not written a practical manual on storytelling.
So if, like me, you are looking for practical tips on ways to improve your storytelling (and not just deepen your appreciation for what storytelling can be) then you can safely skip this book.
Highly recommended for anyone desiring to tell stories, listen to stories, or just simply appreciate the role of stories in human civilization.
Sawyer's passion for stories shines through the pages and her rich experiences in interpreting the written word provide some useful guidance for authors. She explores the ancient roots of storytelling and shows how today's stories are inseparable from the patterns of the past.
Sawyer talks of four invariables in story telling:
The Building of Background
The Power of the Creative Imagination
A Gift for Selection
Experience is what gives a story teller the ability to make the difficulties of her art seem simple; experience comes with writing and writing and writing until the techniques of the art are so ingrained they become invisible.
The building of background is what enriches a story; the opportunity to gather a wide and varied background lies anywhere one looks.
When an artist brings his creative imagination to bear on his material and - from something abstract, from something without form or meaning - transforms it into a real work of inspiration for others to enjoy, this then is the power of the creative imagination.
Sawyer talks of a storyteller knowing which stories to select before entertaining her listeners. There must be an acceptance that some stories are not yours to tell, but belong to another who can tell them better. This gift of selection, too, can apply to writers: what suits one writer's voice may not suit another. And the gift lies in knowing which story suits your own writer's voice.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This purchase was for my permanent library. It is a classic full of advice and includes some great stories. Written by one of the pioneers of storytelling.Published on February 3, 2013 by Llis Ralley
This book is a classic, with tips for tellers and some fine stories at the end of the book. A must for debutant tellers.Published on August 18, 2009 by Helen E. Curran
Stories which are on paper do not have the magical effect. The book gives a deep insight what the art of storytelling is.Published on February 15, 2007 by Pierre A. Walther
This has all the wisdom that a lifetime of storytelling can bring and it's all written down for you. Read morePublished on August 30, 2004 by Love Monkey #9