Saturday, March 17, 2012

The wave/particle duality of stories (from PseudoEssays in Narratology)

We have always known that our stories have a wavelike nature. From the onset of our history, they spread by undulatory movements in space. They radiated from their sources and were captured by ears of the recipients. Sometimes they compelled those recipients to retransmit them. Some stories were so compelling, that they made rhapsodists out of their listeners, persons who spent their lives transmitting the story again and again.

Such stories traveled far and wide, echoing, amplifying, or cancelling each other. Thereby even the loudest of them had weaknesses peculiar to waves: often they were garbled in transmission, or their recipients resonated with the story so much that their retransmission became much altered.