The adaption of storytelling in the age of globalization

While checking out the networks section of the AFS website I stumbled across this blog post by folklorist Coppélie Cocq about an iPhone app that relays a traditional folktale through images, text and narration. Coppélie raises some great points about storytelling in digital environments and the innovations that keep the stories relevant to new audiences.

She also points out the careful negotiation between stability and change in the narratives – a topic that seems to always be at the crux of tradition.

This blog post about the adaption of storytelling in a digital and global setting is relevant to my previous post about the digital Proppian Fairy Tale Generator.  Because the stories used in the Fairy Tale Generator are taken out of context, and made relatively generic, they can be used as a kind of game, as well as a tool to illustrate structural components and sequences to stories and storytelling.  But I expect that the adaptation of stories from living traditions, with known links between storytellers and audiences are likely to be more charged with traditional knowledge and protocol to some extent (I know that this is the case with the Dane-zaa people from northeastern BC with whom I work).

What I was trying to get at in my post about the Fairy Tale Generator is an analogy between the use of this digital tool and the I Ching.  For example, a Chinese person steeped in Chinese philosophy will use the I Ching to find guideance and meaning.  As an Anglo-Canadian, I have used the I Ching with little understanding of the underlying principles behind the messages – just for fun to see what grain of guideance I can find in the book.  Our interpretations will be quite different as to what the I Ching narrative means, and how it can be applied in our lives.


Leave a Comment