A Feeling for the Past: Experimental Histories


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In one of Greg Denning's last essays, 'performing Cross-Culturally', he offers this credo:

We never learn truths by being told them. We learn truths by experiencing them in some way. The Theatre of our stories is where we let our readers experience truths. Our readers will never discover the actualities of the past by having theory spouted at them. They have to discover through our artfulness how larger than itself is very particularity.

This resonates with Walter Benjamin's insight in his essay, "The Storyteller,' when he recalls an old German axiom that can be translated as something like" 'when you have gone through a journey, you have a story to tell.' Glossing this axiom, Benjamin explains that narrative is a powerful means of accounting for experience.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationOnce Upon a Time
Subtitle of host publicationAustralian Writers on Using the Past
EditorsPaul Ashton, Anna Clark, Robert Crawford
Place of PublicationNorth Melbourne
PublisherAustralian Scholarly Publishing
Number of pages11
ISBN (Print)9781925333985
Publication statusPublished - 2016


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