Catastrophe consists, essentially, in an event that causes a radical instance of what David Herman (Basic Elements 133-36) calls "world disruption." For Herman, world disruption and narrative world-making are two sides of the same coin: narrative world-making is triggered by events that destabilize the status quo of a world, and are therefore surprising and highly tellable
. Catastrophe owes its inherent tellability to the profound destabilization it brings about.
Stories that are highly tellable
often have what Singer and colleagues describe as "contrastive experiential sets" or a conflicted and dynamic tension (607).
It's a wonderful spread composed of strange mythical creatures such as the Sookooyah, animal tales such as the two about Compere Lapin, a trickster tale about Brer Anansi and also very tellable
tales about humans, including one about a princess of whom her father the king would frequently say, 'You too choosy-choosy!
Yet it is she who makes Couturier's American episode tellable
, for she had access to the little known intimate side of him, here revealed in his letters to her and also recorded in her annotations of these letters.
We applied the "dimensions of narrative" framework developed by DeFina and Georgakopoulou (2012) to identify "tellable
" events that presented a "breach" or a disruption of the pre-service teachers' expected norms.
What is important for me here is neither the detail nor authenticity of the letter but the narrative that Ogendi reconstructs out of the situation that, in Bruner's phrase, makes it 'tellable
tales: Audience participation folktales for the beginning storyteller (revised edition).
Twain's opening to the "Private History" recounts how "a lady from Finland"--the author and suffragette Baroness Alexandra Gripenburg--asked him to "tell her a story in our negro dialect." He therefore "told her one of Hopkinson Smith's negro stories, and gave her a copy of Harper's Monthly containing it." According to Twain, he got a "good lashing in the Swedish press" when Gripenburg published an account of her encounter with Clemens in a Swedish newspaper and erroneously attributed the story to him instead of Francis Hopkinson Smith: "for it was shown that Boccaccio had told that very story, in his curt and meager fashion, five hundred years before Smith took hold of it and made a good and tellable
thing out of it" (1894, 446).
The task then is to render body memories tellable
, which means to order and arrange them in the form of a story [...]."
Although at Iowa Tom still had not accepted the meaning of his feelings, there were among the theatres older, more experienced and sophisticated members those who could recognize the tellable
This may even include cognitive phenomena such as how people tell and 'make tellable
, inter alia, their beliefs, memories, forgettings, dreams, understandings, thoughts' (Coulter, 1991, p.
It is what transforms a mere sequence of events into a story worthy of interest; it is "why this narrative--or any narrative--is felt to be tellable
; in other words, why the events of the narrative are reportable" (Labov 371).