The storytelling festival as ritualization of the storytelling revival mythos

Daniel Joseph Sobol

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


I would suggest that in the liminoid spaces of storytelling festivals, where the primary communal mythos of the revival is being built, the ancient story of transgression and redemption is woven again, in metaphoric resonance with the stories told from the stage. A powerful subtext of these outward performances is the wonder tale of the storyteller herself, framed by the magic circle of the festival spotlight as the hero/ine of a cultural quest. Through the pilgrimage of the performing artist's path, she seeks to redeem society from its Hamlin-like sin of denying story and the primal unity that is story's gift. The storytelling festival became, for its most involved participants, a way of enacting a ritualized happy ending to the tale of the storyteller's journey. For the teller on stage, the festival is a homecoming, a redemption, a wedding of teller to traditions and to an idealized community. For the committed audience, the festival is redeeming, too: a homecoming to a kingdom in which storytelling is restored to its rightful place at the center of community life.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationStory, from fireplace to cyberspace : connecting children and narrative
EditorsBetsy Hearne, Janice M. Del Negro, Christine Jenkins, Deborah Stevenson
PublisherGraduate School of Library and Information Science, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
ISBN (Print)0878451056
Publication statusPublished - 1998
EventStory: From Fireplace to Cyberspace: connecting children and narrative - Allerton Park Institute, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Champaign, United States
Duration: 26 Oct 199728 Oct 1997


ConferenceStory: From Fireplace to Cyberspace
Country/TerritoryUnited States


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