I was very happy this past weekend to find that two of my granddaughters, too young yet to be reading independently, are such good listeners they can recite their favourite books by heart. I particularly enjoyed joining in with Audrey’s rendition of Hairy Maclary from Donaldson’s Dairy, although I don’t know that she approved of my doing it with a Kelvinside accent. Two year olds often prefer a vanilla delivery.
Listening is a dying art, especially for children growing up in homes with several TV sets. Watching is an entirely different skill. It’s hard to imagine them rushing to tune in to the radio as my generation did in the Fifties, eager for the next episode of Rosemary Sutcliff’s The Eagle of the Ninth. There was no spin-off DVD. You had to imagine the scene for yourself.
Posts Tagged ‘storytelling’
In the New Yorker, an intriguing article about the science of telling stories.
The interesting questions about stories, which have, as they say, excited the interests of readers for millennia, are not about what makes a taste for them “universal,” but what makes the good ones so different from the dull ones, and whether the good ones really make us better people, or just make us people who happen to have heard a good story …
… Good science is more like Proust than Mr. Popper’s Penguins; its stories startle us with their strangeness, but they intrigue us by their originality, and end by rewarding us with the truth, after an effort. It is the shock good stories offer to our expectations, not some sop they offer to our pieties, that makes tales tally, and makes comtes count. The story that tells us only that we like all kinds of stories lacks that excitement, that exclusionary power, which is the only thing that makes us want to hear stories at all.