Started reading Brain Pickings over the weekend based on its popularity and the enthusiasm of its author, Maria Popova. Though it’s too early to say for sure, the blog feels more like a Tumblr quote blog than anything else. Not sure about the format of putting a blockquote within a blockquote, but here it goes with a piece on storytelling and poet Jane Hischfield from July of this year:
But the aspect of concentration perhaps most widely relevant beyond poetry is that of narrative — our supreme hedge against the entropy of existence. Hirshfield writes: Storytelling, like rhetoric, pulls us in through the cognitive mind as much as through the emotions. It answers both our curiosity and our longing for shapely forms: our profound desire to know what happens, and our persistent hope that what happens will somehow make sense. Narrative instructs us in both these hungers and their satisfaction, teaching us to perceive and to relish the arc of moments and the arc of lives. If shapeliness is an illusion, it is one we require — it shields against arbitrariness and against chaos’s companion, despair. And story, like all the forms of concentration, connects. It brings us to a deepened coherence with the world of others and also within the many levels of the self.
Real life is meaningless, until you put it into the context of a story. The Dramatica
storyform organizes and holds the message of the meaning. Using it as a guide aids the Author in combatting life’s “arbitrariness” by delivering a message of “deepened coherence.”
If Popova’s purpose would is to find the meaning behind the connections, then an elevated understanding of Dramatica and its unique take on the elements of story may prove to be the very last puzzle piece.
And finally, a quote for all lovers of great narrative:
Story remains a basic human path toward the discovery and ordering of meaning and beauty.