Tag Archives: story

A story is not like a road to follow

A story is not like a road to follow … it’s more like a house. You go inside and stay there for a while, wandering back and forth and settling where you like and discovering how the room and corridors relate to each other, how the world outside is altered by being viewed from these windows. And you, the visitor, the reader, are altered as well by being in this enclosed space, whether it is ample and easy or full of crooked turns, or sparsely or opulently furnished. You can go back again and again, and the house, the story, always contains more than you saw the last time. It also has a sturdy sense of itself of being built out of its own necessity, not just to shelter or beguile you.
Alice Munro (Selected Stories, 1968-1994) quoted here 

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our story tells us

When we cannot find a way of telling our story, our story tells us – we dream these stories, we develop symptoms, or we find ourselves acting in ways we don’t understand.   Stephen Grosz

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Filed under story, the unknown

the story of my life

I told him the story of my life, most of it, a version of it, and he told me his, and in the telling both storytellers came to believe that their stories were true. I’m the person I’m describing, I thought, I really am! I knew that I was editing the story as I told it, but not to hide anything or to protect myself – I believed that I wanted Woodrow to know everything about me, no lies and no secrets that mattered. But I was telling my story to a man, not another woman, and therefore edited it accordingly. And I was revealing what I knew of myself to a black African, not a white American. .. and not to a neo-Marxist fugitive under indictment by her own government for acts of civil disobedience and suspicion of terrorism. I had no choice but to alter, delete, revise, and invent whole chapters of my story. Just as, for the same reasons, I am doing here, telling it to you.                     Russell Banks The Darling

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It is impossible to divine a story while you are living it; it is shapeless an inchoate procession of words and things, and let us be frank: we never recover what was. Most of it vanishes. And yet, as I sit here at my desk and try to bring it back, that summer not so long ago, I know turns were made that affected what followed.                                                            Siri Hustvedt , The Summer Without Men

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