What is story-telling?

Telling stories is going on an exciting excursion, not working. The only way we can have any ‘presence’ when we tell a story is to genuinely accept, to love, that is, all those who are with us not merely to listen but because they expect us to do something for them and above all with them. They are waiting for us to show them the unique sight which we discovered first. We will not show it to them as guides but as participants in the same excursion who get the same if not greater pleasure as they do at seeing the magical landscape of the folk tale once more in their company.

To tell a folk tale in the authentic way it should be told we must break free from the dulling daze of daily life, from the security offered by decorum and respectability and from the routine of observing the rituals of correct expression. We must avoid the temptation of taking our audience on a carefully-planned guided tour and, throwing off all restraints, plunge deep into the tale with heart and soul. Only in this way can we rouse our readers from their trance. We should not forget that in story-telling there is but one subject -and it is always the same- life itself. The language we use bears no resemblance to written literature but is vibrant, direct, completely abstract poetic language -an underground language as it were. The most powerful moments in our story-telling are the moments of silence when the speaker in effect says what is essential about what has gone before and what will follow afterwards, which is connected with the way in which both the contents of the tale and the audience he faces affect his mood. He tells them without words, but only with that pulsating silence, that he is unarmed, that he has no intentions towards them: neither to conquer, nor to convince, nor to caress their ears, nor anything else. He tells them, “I am here, together with you and together with this true account of events that have never occurred in the visible world but which exist in other worlds. And at this very moment that I speak these worlds have come to life because we are here and because we love one another”.