Storyquest | Lara Croft is no Wise Guide | Antisocial Behaviour

200711030855 Storyquest is the national festival of story-telling and the spoken word, and runs for the whole of November. Alongside many keynote events, the organizers – the Prince of Wales’ Foundation for Children & the Arts – are simply encouraging families to ‘fill their homes with stories, capturing the moment when a story gets inside you and fires the imagination.’

One idea they have is to simply open an old photo album and start talking about the people within it – whether alive or dead. Doing exactly this is something I remember fondly from my own childhood.

With the heavy-handed ‘National Literacy Strategy’, story-telling has been rather gutted of its emotional heart. Reading is to be ‘done’ and stories are to be studied. This is a tragedy, not simply for the pure enjoyment of stories, but because – as Christopher Booker argues in The Seven Basic Plots – it is stories that forge our emotional and spiritual development. Remove them and you stunt growth and maturity.

Of course, people will argue that stories still abound in childhood. What is Lara Croft other than a story animated and controlled by the player? True. But the issue is the commonality. A child playing alone at a computer is in control of their own story. Left alone to navigate a world with no narrator or guide. And this, I am convinced, leads to a wounded and insecure heart that finds love and grace and appreciation of the other difficult. In other speak, it contributes to anti-social behaviour.

So turn the screen off, go grab a book, an album, or just your imagination, and tell someone a story. The fire is lit.


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3 responses to “Storyquest | Lara Croft is no Wise Guide | Antisocial Behaviour”

  1. Interesting thoughts.
    Sort of reminds me of “Post-Modern Pooh” A book that takes the classic Pooh stories and approaches them as technical as possible, rendering the stories sterile and open to literary strategies of post-marxism, post-structuralism and so on. Yet, forgetting the entire time that they are, in the most basic sense, stories that engage the child and teach the child the meaning of real relationships with those around us, both human and non-human.

  2. it’s off topic, but thought you and your readers would like this:
    have you ever seen this?

  3. Thanks Suzanna – excellent link! Love it.