Saturday, July 29, 2006

In Edinburgh

I've been thinking about this blog ever since I arrived here four days ago.
I keep wondering who I'm writing for. Who's listening?
In all our storytelling work, we've got this cardinal rule: that there's a reciprocal relationship between telling and listening. Which is all very well when you're talking to someone. Its easy - then - to see the ways in which the listening is shaping the talking.
But what about writing on a blog? Its a bit like talking to oneself (which I was taught at a young age to be a sign of madness). Does one listen to oneself? Or does one always have internalized listeners? Who do I have in my mind as the person or people listening? So if you're reading this, which is the textual version of listening, thank you.

Anyhow, this is just me breaking the ice. I've never shared my daily journals with anyone, and blogging is a bit similar to that. Private thoughts. Made public.


Blogger john skotnes said...

Murray I have tried so hard to post this... it seems that every time I try and create a blogger account I do something wrong and I lose the newly written text. I have typed endless words that have disappeared into the ether and not a word has appeared on this blog of yours. In the light of a very unreciprocal relationship in which madness has gripped I shall try and summarize...
Twas our old pal Walter del la Mare who attacked the problem of listeners on the landing going down the empty stairs. (That's the path in which the unconscious percolates from the depths to the surface is it not?)Confronted by the silent listening hosts he bolted... did he not?.. addressing them as he fled. "tell them I came but that nobody answered, that I kept my word .." Word shmerd.. he left because he was petrified of listening back!
oi vay this business of dialog twixt ones self and the internal listeners is not for the faint hearted. One cannot leave one's audience behind, can one now? In 2 men talking, for whom dear boy, do these internalized listeners stand as metonymy?

12:37 PM  
Blogger john skotnes said...

Murray dear boy.
I seem to be rapidly becoming known as a blogg hog. But it has been so long since we sat around a table constructing matters of great moment. This business of story telling was best summed up by John Mortimer when he spoke in a forward to a Rumpole anthology of the need for a good yarn to have intertined with itself one or two other plots. I don't think he was talking of the nuance of sub texts to a tale. Maestros like your good self and Paul will naturally develop themes and counter themes as the story unfolds. But I suppose what he, (JM),was getting at has to do with your notion of listening. Not only has one to reflect upon ones's own voice and internalized listeners but in the telling, if the plot counterpoints or interacts with another plot how much richer the tale. Of course the grave danger is to become enchanted with ones own story. But whoever said, (to misquote Robinson Davies), enchantment was the basis of an enduring story. There has to be far more meat upon the table if starvation is to be avoided over a life time of recounting it.

Love j

9:01 AM  

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