A Brief Eulogy: Folklore

We tell stories because we’re compelled to. I’m not writing here, in particular, about us as individuals: we tell stories because the human race needs these, thrives on these, has these set deep inside us — myths and legends, folklore, sea stories, fairy tales and nursery rhymes, the oral histories of our ancestors passed down and down, the epic poems of the early writers and before these, before the written word, the epic tales that flowed between the generations.

We’re so rich in all of this in our various cultures: our cultures that overlap. We have the same or similar characters and stories appearing in our religious books, which some might call holy, and in our holy books of other secular depths. We have the same or similar characters and stories in our verbal tales in all their various meanings. These stories circulate and gather, repeat and evolve, form and disband and deepen. It would be a shame not to involve ourselves, as writers, in this rich tradition we’re all embedded in.

Many people just don’t realise how embedded they are. Many writers may well forget. We should embrace the tales told and soak them up — not repeating them for want of our own imaginations, but letting their essences fill us. If we reject our traditions and cultures, our stories, then we reject who we are.

Writing is not a sudden revolution (out with all of the old guard, in with everything new). We should strive for originality, of course, but we should bear in mind that we ourselves, carbon us, are made of stardust, and the revolution of words is happening as we write and speak.

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