Sunday, December 09, 2007

Stories, histories and sagas

This is in response to a comment on my Peg Kerr post. Lissa said that many people see blogging as story telling. She is absolutely right, and I was misusing the word "story," which comes (I just checked) from the Latin "historia." Story does not mean fiction, though I tend to use it as if it means fiction. It means first, a history, then, a recital of events which may be either true or untrue. You have to go a long way down the OED definition to get to "a mere tale" or "baseless allegation."

The Old Norse word "saga" comes from "segja," the verb to say. It means narrative, something told or written, and can be either a true history or a work of fiction.

There are really fine story tellers, who tell true stories. I think of Jim Northrup, who is Aniashanabe from the Fond du Lac Reservation near Duluth. He currently writes a column for the local Native American newspaper, but he has also done stage performances.

Other local story tellers include Jim Stowell, Kevin Kling and Garrison Keillor, all masters of spoken narration. Some of the stories they tell are true. Some are not.

What I meant to say is, I want to tell made-up stories, a written-down fabrication or lie.


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