Appercline’s Applet

May 1, 2007 at 11:00 am | Posted in Reading | 2 Comments

bettelheim.jpg 

Yes, I do make a play on words here – that an Applet is similar to Appercline’s recount of th universal elements of storytelling.   We might view Appercline’s succinct treatment of the elements as something we can inject in any story we tell so that the audience can appreciate the visual creation we make in our minds.

I think it’s fair to say that she puts this information out directly in an easily assimilable fashion.  For me, it is a reminder of a book I read oh so long ago – more directed at children and the relationship between the struggles of life and fairy tales by noted child psychiatrist Bruno Bettelheim – “The Uses of Enchantment: The Meaning and Importance of Fairy Tales.”

The point of the book here and, arguably, that of the oral tradition is pedagogical – to teach.  I believe that Appercline’s straightforward description of the elements of storytelling, while universal, lead me back to thinking if one’s self expression isn’t – in some way – instructive to the audience. 

If I describe the blossoms of an apple tree unfolding against the weight of a spring rain, am I merely creating pleasure for the reader, or am I being instructive?  I think it depends on the way the story evolves – if I allude to the competing forces of nature with the blossom eventually pollinated by a bee to bring forth the late summer fruit that satiates my parched lips with a pressed nectar drizzling down my throat have I, in the end, ‘taught’ the reader something?  Bettleheim would say yes.

In any event, the elements described by Appercline are a great reference for all of us as we develop our stories.

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2 Comments »

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  1. Nice job — you also have to assume that the reader knows what an apple tree looks like (in bloom or not). That’s a different side of Barrie’s context point.

  2. oral is something we forget to learn – there is a school that requires all/most its subjects to be taught and learned in the oral format.


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