A great storyteller – whether a journalist or editor or filmmaker or curator – helps people figure out not only what matters in the world, but also why it matters. A great storyteller dances up the ladder of understanding, from information to knowledge to wisdom. Through symbol, metaphor, and association, the storyteller helps us interpret information, integrate it with our existing knowledge, and transmute that into wisdom.
Susan Sontag once said that “reading sets standards.” Storytelling not only sets standards but, at its best, makes us want to live up to them, to transcend them.
A great story, then, is not about providing information, though it can certainly inform – a great story invites an expansion of understanding, a self-transcendence. More than that, it plants the seed for it and makes it impossible to do anything but grow a new understanding – of the world, of our place in it, of ourselves, of some subtle or monumental aspect of existence.
At a time when information is increasingly cheap and wisdom increasingly expensive, this gap is where the modern storyteller’s value lives.— Brain Pickings
If you spend enough time reading or writing, you find a voice, but you also find certain tastes. You find certain writers who when they write, it makes your own brain voice like a tuning fork, and you just resonate with them. And when that happens, reading those writers … becomes a source of unbelievable joy. It’s like eating candy for the soul.
And I sometimes have a hard time understanding how people who don’t have that in their lives make it through the day.— David Foster Wallace
Word for thought