Narrative Unbound

An interesting piece from the Financial Times a couple of weeks ago about “the author as performer” (thanks Liam). It starts with Malcolm Gladwell “performing” his book Outliers (a great read, wonderfully written, but with a tinge of the “so-what” after-taste), and digresses via the TED talks phenomenon to a discussion of how contemporary artist Mark Leckey has turned to performance lectures as a verbalised, storied form of performance art.

There’s good thinking material in here about the theatricality of storytelling (ie good storytelling goes beyond the telling technique, and can involve the context, situatedness, deliberate placement in space and time).

This is a tad different from the recent Wharton-profiled thoughts on the role of narrative in leadership from movie-maker Peter Guber. He has a couple of interesting thigs to say about narrative eg “Narrative bonds information to an emotional experience” but then he undoes it all with the appalling acronym of narrative-use in management as MAGIC: Motivating your Audience to a Goal Interactively with great Content.

Somebody hand me a gun. If I have to deal with thinking like that, give me a lecture anyday.

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