story, story, story

“Where a walking story goes, grows no grass”, quips Eckhart Tolle, mocking the thought-bound state of the life-blind preoccupied. But what of telling stories? More stories than we can live? Maybe this curse or capacity is to burst out of our mono-narrative and provide a fictive link, some salving connection, between all the hemmed in tales. Maybe it’s a way of exposing that our stories are all interchangeable.

Experienced two or three things lately on story. The first, the sublime Synecdoche, NY, by Charlie Kaufman, showing the many, many ways in which we tell ourselves and each other stories – how these are so often inaccurate, separate and partial but most of all made-up. The film showed how impossible it is to represent the experience of living and Charlie K said in an interview that in attempting to, Caden Cotard confuses literal truth with universal truth and that ‘he never really gets past that’…  Important to know what detail to choose.

Reading Hilary Mantel’s Beyond Black; about a medium haunted by ghosts, who will be heard despite her efforts to shed them. Very evocative of the state of being a writer – all the characters.

Developing the novel, the characters are changing and I’m trying to listen and to change accordingly. New things occur everyday. I try not to panic or get too worried about money.


About Carol McGuigan

writer, performer, wonderer As a writer I am represented by Euan Thorneycroft at A.M. Heath As a performer by Janet Plater there's also a brief but currently out of date biog about my writing on the Literature North East site
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2 Responses to story, story, story

  1. rod black says:

    Aloha Ms Carol,
    Please forgive the assumption of gender. I have known several Carols in my story. Most of which were fems. Having read your comments I am reminded of Tolle’s witness that we are more than our stories. Much more. It strikes me that you seem not to have realized that.

  2. Carol McGuigan says:

    Hello Rod

    Maybe it’s a bit flippant to use Tolle’s quote as I do and I apologise for not being clearer on what he’s about and that I’m not trying to counter or dispute his wisdom at all, just using it (maybe too carelessly) as an opener to a ‘riff’ on story-making. I do understand what he’s saying generally, find it very inspiring and agree with it – that as you echo; we are much more than just the story we think we’re living.

    Because this blog is about writing and as I am a writer making up narratives, I was just reflecting on the three influences currently around me in relation to the dangers and pitfalls as well as the positive potential of making stories.

    Just mulling really…

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