Over the last few decades, the ancient art of the storyteller and epic singer – the art of oral narrative – has witnessed a revival in the West. In view of this resurgence of interest, this volume compiles essays and interviews exploring the stories, as well as traditional and contemporary storytellers.
The traditional art of narrative is lost, along with the traditional way of life and oral culture in general. Stories can only survive if they are recounted time and again by competent storytellers. Thus, the key for an in-depth approach of the art of narrative is the storyteller himself. It is to him, the storyteller as a traditional or contemporary narrator, that the essays in this book are dedicated.
The book consists of two parts. Part I focuses on the traditional storyteller, including essays by Walter Benjamin; distinguished Irish folklorist Seamus O’ Duilearga; Dimitrios V. Oikonomidis; Indian anthropologist Kirin Narayan; as well as Jewish-American storyteller Yitzhak Buxbaum. Part II is dedicated to the revival of oral narrative – namely the emergence of the storyteller as a professional artist in the West over the last decades. The issue of the renaissance of a long lost art is explored by British Eileen Colwell, a leading exponent of the renaissance, as well as by three of the best known young storytellers: French-Norwegian Abbi Patrix and the British Ben Haggarty and Pomme Clayton.
The Greek reality is illuminated through texts by educator Koula Kouloumbi-Papapetropoulou; author and director Apostolos Doxiadis; as well as Stelios Pelasgos, the first Greek contemporary storyteller.