Friday, May 15, 2015

Information, Progress, & Speed

     “In his 1936 essay ‘The Storyteller,’ (Walter) Benjamin posits that the storyteller, as well as the story itself, has lost primacy in a world that craves information, progress, and speed. The teller of tales is therefore left ‘remote,’ an endangered species. The storyteller, in the oldest sense of the word – ie the one who imparts counsel or wisdom, who carries forth the tradition of tales – has been eclipsed in Benjamin’s mind by the stultifying demands of modern life. ‘Every morning brings us the news of the globe,’ he writes, ‘and yet we are poor in noteworthy stories. This is because no event any longer comes to us without already being shot through with explanation. In other words, by now almost nothing that happens benefits storytelling; almost everything benefits information.’ ”

        Michael Paterniti “The Telling Room. A Tale of Love, Betrayal, Revenge, and the World’s Greatest Piece of Cheese.” The Dial Press, NY, 2013.

Les Deux Magots, Paris

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