How The Story Invented Truth
“No one in the world knew what truth was until someone had told a story. It was not there in the moment of lightning or the cry of the beast, but in the story of those things afterward, making them a part of human life. Our distant savage ancestor gloried as he told—or acted out or danced—the story of the great kill in the dark forest, and that story entered the life of the tribe and by it the tribe came to know itself. On such a day against the beast we fought and won, and here we live to tell the tale. A tale much embellished but truthful even so, for truth is not simply what happened but how we felt about it when it was happening, and how we feel about it now.”
–John Rouse (1978). The completed gesture: Myth, character, and education.
It is a wonder to me that stories, the bread and butter of our trade, are cradled in such an amazing thing: the invention of Truth.
I’ll have more to say about this in a future post.