Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Story Light

I like the expression "storytropic" Dan Yashinsky uses in his book "Suddenly They Heard Footsteps." He writes a number of times about firesides and firelight, and asks "what do we an age when the story fire is almost extinguished..?"
In his introduction to the Pantheon collection of Grimms Fairy Tales, Padraic Colum writes: "The prolongation of light meant the cessation of traditional stories in European cottages. And when the cottages took in American kerosene or paraffin there was prolongation. Then came lamps with full and steady light, lamps that gave real illumination. Told under this illumination the traditional stories ceased to be appropriate because the rhythm that gave them meaning was weakened."
The prolongation of light has pushed back the shadows of the hearth where, once upon a time, stories were told. Furthermore, the prolongation of light has weakened the "rhythm that gave them meaning." That rhythm, simply stated, is the time for light, the time for dark, the time for work and the time to tell stories.
I thought it fitting that in one of the recent James Bond movies, the villain was a man who could not sleep and who wanted to shower the world (via a satellite orbiting the planet) with sunlight 24/7! Shakespeare's famous villain, Macbeth, commits his first crime and hears a voice "Sleep no more! Macbeth does murder sleep!"

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