How Stories Grow

I was telling The Clever Girl the other week – the story that begins as proverbial interpretations of qualities [what is the fastest, the sweetest, the richest thing in the world?] and endorses imagination over literalness. Then it goes on to be a wit-contest between the young magistrate and the even younger girl, including the need for her to appear neither naked nor clothed, a requirement familiar … Continue reading How Stories Grow

My contribution to National Storytelling Week 2017

I am telling stories all day on February 1st in Newbury: two sessions with Primary School Pupils, one with adults who are free in the afternoon, one with older children in the early evening, and a two-hour show of Russian traditional stories and Stalin anecdotes, called In a State of Terror. I’ll tell you what I did after I’ve done it. The venue sent me an … Continue reading My contribution to National Storytelling Week 2017

How stories grow…

Yesterday, looking for new stories, I was browsing in Ralston’s Russian Fairy Tales  and came across a story about the rivalry between the prophet Elijah [venerated under the name of Ilya in Russia] and Saint Nicholas. I learnt from Ralston’s own notes that Elijah had responsibility for what came down from the skies: thunder, lightning, hail, weather in general – indeed, in Old Novgorod there were two … Continue reading How stories grow…

Where can you hear stories told?

STORY CLUBS in Hampshire and Wiltshire Southampton Story Club 1st Thursday in the month 8pm-10pm The Art House, 178 Above Bar, Southampton, SO14 7DW Sarum Story Club 2nd Tuesday in the month 8pm-10pm The Wyndham Arms, 27 Estcourt Road, Salisbury, SP1 3AS Wykeham Tales 2nd Wednesday in the month 8pm-10pm The Hyde Tavern, 57 Hyde Street, Winchester, SO23 7DY Heads and Tales … Continue reading Where can you hear stories told?

Where does that story come from?

People will know the story about the man who sees Death in the marketplace, and sees Death looking at him in a meaningful way. Thinking to avoid Death, the man flees, takes horse, rides furiously to a distant city – the distance and the city vary in different versions – where, the day after his arrival, the man again encounters Death. Since it is, as … Continue reading Where does that story come from?