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“The fact of storytelling hints at a fundamental human unease, hints at human imperfection. Where there is perfection there is no story to tell.” –Ben Okri

"Political content aside, the discussion provided a lovely example of how a term from literary theory has established itself in American political discourse." via Language Log

"We may expect the following. Language will be carefully crafted. Advertisements will focus on personal narratives. The campaign will employ “attack” advertisements that emotionally sway voters. Policy will be sketchy with vague descriptions that emotionally satisfy Americans while offering scant details. The emphasis will be on creating narratives that resonate with the values, beliefs, and identities of prospective voters."
– Literary Gulag, on Lakoff, Nunberg, Westen, and the narrative of the 2008 presidential election. [more inside]
posted by iamkimiam on Sep 9, 2008 - 26 comments

 

Flowers For Algernon - The Blog

Daniel Keys' classic 1959 Science Fiction story "Flowers for Algernon", which takes place in a series of diary entries, has been posted online as a blog. Of course, you'll need to read it backwards, from the earliest entry to the latest, to avoid giving away the ending... [via]
posted by Asparagirl on Aug 30, 2008 - 25 comments

The City So Nice They Named It Twice

Thirty New York city residents pooled their strength yesterday and hoisted a wrecked school bus into the air to rescue a pregnant traffic warden trapped beneath the five-ton vehicle. Donnette Sanz, the victim of yesterday's accident, could not be saved, but her son was delivered safely at a nearby hospital. [more inside]
posted by WCityMike on Aug 16, 2008 - 23 comments

Jerry Clower: A superb Southern storyteller

Jerry Clower (Wikipedia article) started telling his funny stories to boost sales when he was a seed and fertilizer salesman. He went on to become a successful comedian and Grand Ole Opry star. [more inside]
posted by Daddy-O on Aug 7, 2008 - 16 comments

This is an intense love story.

How have you been burned by love?
posted by divabat on Jul 28, 2008 - 41 comments

Demolition

Kajima's floor-by-floor slow demolition is one of those rare things in life that leaves you truly speechless....After all, seeing the video of a 20-floor building submerging into the asphalt as if it was liquid is something that belongs to a sci-fi movie. [more inside]
posted by Pater Aletheias on Jul 15, 2008 - 30 comments

The blah story.

Blah. Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah. Blah.
posted by LSK on May 16, 2008 - 60 comments

Tales of the City

In 1974 - or 1976, depending who you ask - Armistead Maupin began writing "an extended love letter to a magical San Francisco” in the form of a serialized, fictional drama published originally in the Pacific Sun, the San Francisco Chronicle and the San Francisco Examiner, originally called "The Serial" which then became collectively known as Tales of The City. It is a suprisingly beautiful, deep, emotional, cosmopolitan and lasting tale about life in San Francisco in the turbulent, heady days of the 1970s and 1980s. Widely credited with and cherished for helping spread a little of the openess, tolerance and acceptance that San Francisco is now famous for. It then became a series of books - Tales of the City, More Tales of the City, Further Tales of the City, Babycakes, Significant Others, Sure of You - and lastly, the spin-off tale of Michael Tolliver Lives. Almost exactly twenty years after first publishing, it then became an excellent miniseries from the United Kingdom's Channel 4, which aired in the United States on PBS, but not without protest or limitations. [more inside]
posted by loquacious on May 4, 2008 - 39 comments

Write Me Stories

Paulo in London asks musicians to write him a story on an index card. [more inside]
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Apr 15, 2008 - 7 comments

Classic Tales and Fables

Over 2000 classic tales and fables including Aesop's Fables, Bulfinch's Mythology, Indian "Why" Stories, tales by Oscar Wilde, Beatrix Potter, Rudyard Kipling, Louisa May Alcott, L. Frank Baum and Harriet Beecher Stowe and stories about Abraham Lincoln, Robin Hood and Baron Munchausen. And more! The folk and fairytale collection is particularly rich, with hundreds of stories from all over the world.
posted by Kattullus on Apr 1, 2008 - 15 comments

Best Story Ever

Best Story Ever is a series of clips featuring various celebrities -- Henry Rollins, Lewis Black, Dee Snider, Chuck D, Ron Jeremy, Bret "The Hitman" Hart, and many more -- telling their best stories. Some are lame, some are funny. But hey, what's your best story ever? (It can't be lamer than Alan Thicke's, can it?)
posted by cog_nate on Mar 31, 2008 - 63 comments

Storytelling with Google Maps

The 21 Steps is a spy thriller short story that is told using Google Maps. [via mefi projects]
posted by brain_drain on Mar 20, 2008 - 20 comments

Preserving the Heritage of Zonians

Canal Zone Images is a collection of stories and images about the Panama Canal Zone. Did you know that the construction workers were paid in gold and silver ('spiggoty' dollars)? "Paper money was not used on the pay car at all. In the first place, there was always a danger of its blowing away, and in the second place paper money in the hands of negro workmen soon assumed a most unsanitary condition." [more inside]
posted by tellurian on Feb 25, 2008 - 12 comments

Every scene must turn...

The Wager: "I'll bet you that video games will never become a significant form of cultural discourse the way that novels and film have. I'll bet you that fifty years from now they'll be just as mature and well-respected as comic books are today," posits game designer Steve Gaynor. Responses and rebuttals. [more inside]
posted by Pastabagel on Feb 19, 2008 - 140 comments

The Notes of a Japanese prisoner in the USSR

Kiuchi Nobuo - a Japanese airman in World War II, was captured and sent to a prison camp in the Ukraine. He tells his story with drawings.
posted by tellurian on Feb 5, 2008 - 23 comments

Best Buy Bodhisattva

Best Buy Bodhisattva. [more inside]
posted by chunking express on Dec 19, 2007 - 74 comments

Story time

You should read these three stories by Amy Hempel. (Oh, and maybe listen to her read, here.) While you're at it, read some of these idiosyncratic but beautifully-written stories by grammarian Gary Lutz.
posted by dersins on Jul 30, 2007 - 19 comments

Felix's bear lives

The world is one step closer to felix's trickle-charging story-telling bear.
posted by djb on Jul 27, 2007 - 13 comments

Why should I take up all this space? I'll get off this old planet, let some sweet baby have my place.

2BR02B is a short story by the late Kurt Vonnegut (so it goes) from 1962, brought to you now by Project Gutenberg.
posted by buriednexttoyou on May 4, 2007 - 17 comments

How To Talk To Girls At Parties

How To Talk To Girls At Parties by Neil Gaiman. Full text and reading by the author: part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4.
posted by hoverboards don't work on water on Apr 18, 2007 - 39 comments

Once upon a time, when the web was still young...

The Addventures. Imagine the possibilities of an interactive web, but before Flash, before Java, before video plugins, before anything but text and graphics (and graphics take up so much bandwidth!). Addventures came out of this era, and over the years there have been quite a few (not all paths SFW) incarnations of the concept. You can even roll your own with open source. Can you find your old stories?
posted by mazatec on Mar 21, 2007 - 11 comments

Collaborative fiction

Ficlets are extremely short stories (a maximum of 1024 characters). Other writers swoop in and write prequels and sequels to your ficlet, making interesting branching narratives a la Create Your Own Adventure.
posted by Plutor on Mar 15, 2007 - 13 comments

Napkin Fiction

Esquire sends out 250 napkins to writers across America - from prolific novelists to those finishing off first works. Nearly a hundred respond back - from sex to frustration, poetry to twisted liaisons, even a mini book and plans for murder.
posted by divabat on Feb 27, 2007 - 22 comments

"Good People": A new short story by David Foster Wallace.

"Good People": A new short story by David Foster Wallace. New to Wallace? Like "Good People"? Read "Incarnations of Burned Children", a story with a similar sense of tension and dread. Want more? Okay.
posted by HerArchitectLover on Jan 31, 2007 - 25 comments

5 frames to tell a story

Tell a story in 5 frames is a Flickr "group" and nothing more. Not every folksonomy succeeds as well as this one. "ride of your life" is a classic.
posted by paulsc on Oct 13, 2006 - 15 comments

Sita Sings the Blues

Sita Sings the Blues is a feature film (in progress) combining the ancient Indian epic Ramayana, the 1920's blues vocals of Annette Hanshaw, and classically informed but modern animation. The animator wanted to envision what the Ramayana would look like told through the eyes of its much loved and much maligned female character, Sita. This is not the first time the Ramayana has been retold from Sita's perspective, Sanctuary, a play by Hema Ramakrishna is a feminist reinterpretation that has garnered a lot of controversy. Retelling the Ramayana is part of the tradition.
posted by arcticwoman on Sep 24, 2006 - 7 comments

Jesus, his hooker, and her pimp

The Girl of Your Dreams. "Jesus had a dream girl. Jesus had a girl that He wanted to marry for several thousand years. But she treated him like shit."
posted by brownpau on Jan 19, 2006 - 29 comments

'The Only Man Stalin Ever Feared'

Alexei Sayle's writing for the Independent in the Motoring section. Occasionally it's about motoring, too! Also found was his "Imitating Katherine Walker" [html/pdf] and an excerpt from his book of short stories 'Barcelona Plates'. more inside
posted by Zack_Replica on Jul 30, 2005 - 10 comments

It was Christmas. It was merry.

If Hemingway wrote A Visit from St. Nick. By Thurber, published all the way back in 1927.
posted by CunningLinguist on Dec 20, 2004 - 19 comments

The True Story of Audion

The True Story of Audion This was surprisingly interesting and funny.
posted by chunking express on Nov 12, 2004 - 21 comments

101 words, and yet I cannot think of a clever title...

101 years in 101 words
posted by Orange Goblin on Oct 19, 2004 - 14 comments

311 points

CRAZIEST = 311 points Scrabble can seriously affect your mental health. [Flash]
posted by lagado on Sep 22, 2004 - 36 comments

Two Years Before the Mast

Two Years Before the Mast. "In the following pages I design to give an accurate and authentic narrative of a little more than two years spent as a common sailor,before the mast, in the American merchant service. It is written out from a journal which I kept at the time, and from notes which I made of most of the events as they happened." At the beginning of his third year of Harvard a severe attack of measles interrupted Henry Dana's studies, and so affected his eyes as to preclude, for a time at least, all idea of study. The state of the family finances was not such as to permit of foreign travel in search of health. Accordingly, prompted by necessity and by a youthful love of adventure, he shipped as a common sailor in the brig, bound for the California coast.
posted by weston on Sep 14, 2004 - 22 comments

Fiction

The Shore, a short-story by Richard Ford.
posted by semmi on Aug 6, 2004 - 4 comments

Short Attention Span Fiction

Anacrusis is a collection of short stories. Very short stories, written under a strict length constraint. It's a perfect way to get your daily dose of weird, funny, thought-provoking fiction.
posted by wanderingmind on Jul 8, 2004 - 5 comments

OMG ITS SO GROSS EWWW!!1!

Warning: this is possibly the worst story ever told. Ever wanted to know what it's like to have a beef tapeworm? (Fun fact: they're the kind that fills your whole intestinal tract!) A storyteller on The Fray helpfully clues us in to the experience of living with, and eventually destroying, his li'l parasite buddy. Don't read it if you don't want to wish for death at the end. (Blessedly, there are no photographs, though there are some toon-like illustrations.) Via Boing Boing.
posted by logovisual on May 7, 2004 - 40 comments

Blimp Story

The Horror of Blimps. This is just a short ROTFL funny story about a toy blimp gone bad. Brightened my day, anyway. (Thanks, Ken.)
posted by tbc on Apr 21, 2004 - 16 comments

The Princess of Wax - a Cruel Tale

"A wicked noblewoman presides over a decadent court of masked revelers. The most beautiful of waxen automatons is brought to life by a sorceress, her very heart hiding a deadly secret. And then love triumphs, if but for a single moment, before a sudden and terrifying finale. This is the bizarre world of The Princess of Wax".

Limned by descriptors such as "sinister", "ravishing" and "decadent", illustrated by a noted French surrealist painter, and inspired by a real-life fantastical figure, "The Princess of Wax - a Cruel Tale" (web site here), promises to be a satisfyingly twisted modern addition to the cherished fairy tale genre. More >>>
posted by taz on Sep 15, 2003 - 9 comments

Nancy Willard Meets Douglas Hofstadter

"At the center of the universe is a horribly wounded angel. It is nothing anyone would call conscious, and is only in the barest, barest sense of the word still alive. If anything resembling awareness remains, that awareness consists of nothing but an infinite field of gridded black and white squares, a test pattern scattered with dancing dots that shift and jump and blur into one another. This test pattern is useful. " This piece of fiction, which appears on kuro5hin, evokes echoes of Douglas Hoftsadter (Godel, Escher, Bach) and Nancy Willard (Things Invisible To See, Sister Water , and lots of children's books) simultaneously. [more inside]
posted by weston on Sep 13, 2003 - 11 comments

Nims winter story

Nims winter story is a beautiful, if unseasonal, Swedish animation. May not be too clever on dial up.
posted by Fat Buddha on Jun 1, 2003 - 9 comments

Planetarium

Planetarium. A puzzle-story in 12 weekly installments.
posted by plep on Apr 21, 2003 - 3 comments

That gentle piano is the peace of the grave

Young-hae Chang's latest, Operation Nukorea, is shattering, unflinching, and beautifully executed. It's a little tale about consequences, and what happens downstream from decisions not sufficiently considered.

It probably would have brought tears to my eyes even if I did not have family in Seoul. Watch it through to the end.
posted by adamgreenfield on Apr 18, 2003 - 56 comments

Ever wanted to be an author

Ever wanted to be an author but didn't know how to start? Here's your chance - a story already underway and waiting for you to add your contribution. [more inside]
posted by dg on Sep 18, 2002 - 15 comments

afraid to get tested?

afraid to get tested? don't be. these are stories of all our HIV tests. it's always hard, but it's worth it. keep yourself safe, keep your lover safe.
posted by patricking on Dec 1, 2001 - 5 comments

A friend of mine has started posting a [true] story on ThemeStream. Interesting reading (if somewhat smutty and violent). Plus, ThemeStream's royalty rate goes down soon, so read them now and help him suck even more VC money :)
posted by faisal on Sep 14, 2000 - 8 comments

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