OUR FASCINATION WITH STORIES GOES BACK AS FAR AS THE ORIGINS OF HUMANKIND
We ARE the stories we tell.
And, we can’t get enough of them.
The human race has been dazzled and charmed by the power of the narrative since the days our ancestors sat around the fire to captivate and entertain us with their tales of heroism, danger and adventure.
Our love for storytelling has survived across millennia, and has even sparked the curiosity of the scientific community (which despite their many theories and data-collection, continue to struggle to definitively explain the roots of our fascination).
This unexplained phenomenon manifests itself in a plethora of flavors, from the most humorous accounts to the most gruesome of tales.
Some of us love fantasy stories; its journey into the magical realm allows us the escape from the grind of daily existence so many of us crave. Many of us prefer Science Fiction; fantasy’s counterpart which serves a similar escape into new and “undiscovered” worlds driven by the lore of scientific speculation and mysticism.
Then, there are those of us who yearn for the emotional voyage into the world of happy-ever-afters of romance novels – some argue this is perhaps to escape our disillusionment with the realities and complexities of relationships. And, of course, how can we leave out the thrillers, suspense and mystery novels that fulfill the need for puzzle-solving and deliver that rush of the whodunit that comes when all is revealed. The YA and realistic or more literary masterpieces, often serve those who seek to answers life’s most challenging and infinite questions. And this is all just the beginning…
There are unforgettable war stories, David and Goliath stories, and success stories (hence our fascination with biographies and autobiographies – in which the more the person struggled the better). Some people obsess over characters, rather than the stories themselves – hence the countless fans of such fictional heavyweights as Sherlock Holmes, Harry Potter, Laura Croft and Indiana Jones. We shouldn’t leave out the large readership of great world-building masters like J.K. Rowling, R.R. Martin and Tolkien.
Beyond literature, lies a world of stories in visual form that have been just as successful in capturing our attention and validating our obsession with storytelling: the grand and colorful world of movies and television. Star Wars. Star Trek. Jurassic Park. E.T. Every Harry Potter ever produced for the big screen. And you may be surprised to know, that in that same vein, at the heart of every epic story is a character we love, cheer for, for cry for and ultimately make part of our own life. Character struggle makes our fascination possible – its the reason we may read one of the great heroines of all time, Elizabeth Bennet, and in that same night, tune into our favorite episodes of the Kardashians. NO – Kim Kardashian is NO Elizabeth Bennet – shame on you for even thinking I’d ever propose that! This risky comparison is just to illustrate that at the heart of every great story is a character that makes us continue to want more; more conflict, more battles, more mysteries, more challenges, more of that magical journey that happens when PEOPLE face off with LIFE (fictional or real, magical or mysterious) – WE WANT MORE AND ALWAYS WILL – long live our fascination with stories and characters, despite WHERE that fascination comes from! Don’t fix it, if it ain’t broke!