Stories with Intention: Peace

Yesterday I went to the Peace Tent for the workshop: Building Bridges Across Borders with Story ? with storyteller Susan Kaplan who in addition to being a storyteller is also a social worker.
She started by telling a story from the perspective of an Isreali jew, a young woman who had become friends with Palestinians and subsequently chosen not to join the Army. Then the participants had a chance to tell a story of their own, one where we had been able to see what Susan Kaplan calls the third side of peace.
She gave out several handouts, including five pages of resources on using sorytelling to teach about peace. She briefly talked about the difference between telling stories for entertainment and telling stories with intention.
This difference between stories for entertainment and stories with intention is important to me. I want to understand exactly what the difference is or how the difference influences the story. It relates directly to my Concerning the Spiritual in Art ? class.
In The Man Without Content Giorgia Agamben says that in Europe around the middle of the 17-th century art built its own world for itself. ? Prior to that time,
the subjectivity of the artist was identified so immediately with his material -which constituted, not only for him but also for his fellow men, the innermost truth of consciousness -that it would have appeared inconceivable to speak about art as having a value in itself ?.
What does Agamben say happens to the artist or writer in this situation?
the artist enters a dimension of imbalance and eccentricity ?.
And of the spectator or reader?
The free creative principle of the artist rises up like a precious veil of Maya between the spectator and such truth as he can attain in the work of art, a veil of which he will never be able to take possession concretely, but only through the reflection in the magic mirror of his taste. the spectator sees himself as other in the work of art. ?
What happens when literature exists in a world for itself?
It is the absolute freedom to seek its end and its foundation in itself, and does not need, substantially, any content, because it can only measure itself against the vertigo caused by its own abyss. ?
And art loses what it had in its beginnings: the wonderful and uncanny power of making being and the world appear, of producing them in the work. ?
So how can literature regain the power it once had to, as Sophocles said, bring a thing from nonbeing into being? How to re-encounter the divine terror ? that gave art and literature such power over the soul that Plato was prompted to banish it from his city?

Comments are closed.