Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Stories...stolen or reforged?

Philip Pullman, author of the immortal fantasy trilogy His Dark Materials, once answered to a query that his chosen Coat of Arms would be "A bird of the raven family with a diamond in her beak. This is the storyteller: storytellers always steal their stories, every story has been told before."

For myself, as much as I respect Pullman and adore His Dark Materials, I cannot fully agree with this statement. All storytellers certainly draw from one another, but to say that "every story has been told before" is, again in my own opinion, an unfair exaggeration.
I have found, rather, that stories are recycled – ideas given a new coat of paint and combined in new and different ways; or, to use Pullman's diamond metaphor, author's craft their own unique gem by combining the style's/techniques of others coupled with their own personal flare.

(Thus say rather that each diamond was mined from akin sources, but cut and crafted by widely differing members of the same guild.)

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