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Quotes of the Day for 18 December 2003 – Stories

I love stories, and for my money, the greatest story every told in print or on celluloid is J. R. R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings. You didn't get quotes yesterday because I took the day off to watch it, the entire thing. I gathered with a group of folks in Tacoma (and groups are important to telling and sharing stories) at 3 in the afternoon. We watched the first two installments with crackers, dip, pizza, pop, and a little beer, occasionally talking back to the characters. Then we went to stand in line for the midnight premier of the final installment. I enjoyed all eleven hours of video, although I then had to drive for an hour and get on the first ferry back to the island on Wednesday. Today is also the birthday of one of our era's great storytellers, Steven Spielberg, born at Cincinnati, Ohio in 1947. For one great story, and one accomplished story teller, here are some quotes on stories.

Van's signature


The quotes:

I wanted a perfect ending. Now I've learned, the hard way, that some poems don't rhyme, and some stories don't have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen next. Delicious ambiguity.
     - Gilda Radner

Stories ought not to be just little bits of fantasy that are used to wile away an idle hour; from the beginning of the human race stories have been used - by priests, by bards, by medicine men - as magic instruments of healing, of teaching, as a means of helping people come to terms with the fact that they continually have to face insoluble problems and unbearable realities.
     - Joan Aiken

There are two situations that make interesting stories: when an extraordinary person is plunged into the commonplace, and when an ordinary person gets involved in extraordinary events.
     - Sister Helen Prejean

The universe is made of stories, not atoms.
     - Muriel Rukeyser, 1913 - 1980

When there are two conflicting versions of the story, the wise course is to believe the one in which people appear at their worst.
     - H. Allen Smith


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