Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Stories Worth Telling

Stories worth telling are worth telling over and over again, so even if you've heard this one before--
Listen again.
- Some New Kind of Slaughter
by A. David Lewis and mpMann

In their original graphic novel Some New Kind of Slaughter, A. David Lewis and mpMann tell the story of the great flood. Well, they tell several stories of the great flood, making them related and interconnected. Nearly all cultures have their own version of the diluvian myth. Maybe this is because a great flood once really did happen in ancient human history. Or maybe a great flood is a mythological archetype inherent to all human culture.

You've heard me say all this before when talking about The Unwritten. And you all know how much I love The Unwritten, so you can easily see why I would be fascinated with this work.

As for the quote, it's exactly true. Stories worth telling are worth telling constantly. Sometimes we may get a bit carried away. Recently the site Topless Robot drafted a list of The 30 Best Retellings of Superman's Origin. The usual complaint is that we all know Superman's origin story, so why do creators feel compelled to retell it over and over again?

Because it's a good story. Just like the origin story of Jesus.

We retell the Christmas story every year. Does your church do the exact same Christmas pageant every December? Probably not. We reinvent it. We tell it in a different way to address different issues and circumstances. I've been in church Christmas plays that included cats, mice, a neon nite light (what?) and a Nazi pistol whipping a pastor (what kind of crazy person writes a Christmas play like that? This crazy person).

When you think about it, one of our main sources for the Christmas story is a retelling. The Gospel of Luke begins with the author explaining that he gathered information and stories about Jesus and synthesized them into a coherent story.

So go ahead. Listen again.

No comments:

Post a Comment