Symposium Week Two

The symposium for this week was little more challenging than the last. Another lecture, Adrian discussed how stories are prompted by the ‘technology’ that is available or created, and that the technology itself is influenced by the past. Why is a book a book? Why does it look the way it does? Why does it have page numbers? Why paper? Why is it just accepted that it is what it is? These were the kinds of questions (with answers, even if the answers seemed to vary based on perspective) that fuelled the first half of the discussion.

The second half dealt more with what a story is on a conventional level, and that a story will have a beginning, middle and end because the medium (a book in this case) has a beginning, middle and end. They are both linear, and the format of a book encourages linear storytelling, despite cases where books have finished unresolved. This then promoted an almost-debate over the need for resolution and ‘closure’ (a disliked term among tutors apparently…) and whether this could instead be traced back to Aristotle and the three-act principle. A point was then raised by Giorgia that in Greek Mythology, the stories (often spoken, hence not reliant on a medium for structure) have an ending to express a moral, which Adrian responded to by suggesting that these stories do not necessarily ‘conclude’, because they are relevant to real life. The Greek’s believed the Gods to be real, and so their stories are ongoing and hence don’t resolve. I’m not sure I agree with this succinct definition of a ‘story’, however I did find the discussion interesting. There are a lot of things to consider.


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