Friday, October 26, 2007

384 Before Common Era to 322 BCE

Surely it had been around before then, but he is on record as having categorized it.

I imagine he had a personality not unlike Pod, went around categorizing things to such an extend that they knew they'd been properly categorized. Wouldn't dare step out of line.

Come to think of it, he categorized bloody near everything. Gave us names of genus and species, drew all kinds of lines in the typological sands.

But for those of us who write, tell stories, make the occasional lyric, he holds a special place because he nailed down the things that go into stories.

Aristotle, right?

The Poetics, right?

Sooner or later, you want to write stories, dramas, you check out The Poetics.

Not that he was wrong or anything, but still, a good deal can happen in 23, 2400 years and so you just might want to look in on 1848--1908. Guy writing about the American trickster, Brother Rabbit. A Harris boy. Joel Chandler Harris. Self-educated newspaperman, hit a nerve with his stories of B'rer Rabbit and how he made his way. John Eaton (Country Don't Mean Dumb) gotta like Harris big time.

So you take up the story of B'rer Rabbit and B'rer Fox and the Tar Baby, a kind of prequel to the Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote stories.

The dialect is a bit heavy for our ears now and there may be some who would go so far as to say it is a bit on the patronizing side, but this, for once, is not about politics and race and culture, it is about story. You want Aristotle on story, you go to B'rer Rabbit and B'rer Fox and the Tar Baby, 'cause that's where it's at.


You'll see.

Of course Pod has been known to tell a story or two in his time.

With a camera.

And, of course, without.

So, pictures or not, story is a magical present of elements, wrapped to hide the contents and, when opened, reveal a secret.


lettuce said...

and some of the best stories are about stepping out of / over lines...

Smiler said...

Shelly, I'm curious as I don't recall... were you ever tagged with the "5 Strengths as a Writer" meme? Because if not, I'd be really curious to see what you have to say about that.

Anonymous said...

Shelly, I love your final sentence!
Not to get fancy here, but what springs to my mind are Donne and Herbert. Such well-oiled little stories they are almost like machines, magic ones.
- Karen

R.L. Bourges said...

Roman de Renart