The age of storification

We want to hear your story. Everything is a narrative. Humans are the only storytelling species. If you want to shape the culture, you need to shape the narrative. Every one has a a voice and a story to tell.

These statements are all taken from some of the books I’ve recently read. It appears that you don’t need to go to a creative writing course, an anthropology class or an inductiom into (post)structuralism. The pre-eminence of the story, nay the narrative, in the mainstream culture is undeniable.

All of the above statements are obviously true. But equally true is the fact that humans have always made sense of reality through stories. Narrative mythmaking is at the heart of being human. To think otherwise is to exchange one myth for another. It’s inescapable. We can’t stop making and telling stories – about ourselves, others and the world – without ceasing to be human.

Nevertheless, we are different from our predecessors in one important aspect when it comes to stories: we are aware of stories as stories and of ourselves as storytellers. Our ancestors weaved without knowing they were weavers of stories. They gathered around the fire, in the public square, in the theatre, and told stories to each other. And these weren’t stories about telling stories.

We are different. We are reminded every step of the way that what we do is wave stories about ourselves and about others. No business idea is complete without a narrative. There is hardly any creative act that is not accompanied by a narrative-rich self-commentary. A lot of contemporary art is unintelligible until its narrative is exposed – there’s a story behind everything. There are fewer people every day who ignore the fact that everyone and everything bathes in narratives. And so everyone is looking for a story, although we’ve never ceased, nor will we ever cease to spin them.

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