The Telling PORTABLE
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The Telling is a 2000 science fiction novel by Ursula K. Le Guin set in her fictional universe of Hainish Cycle. The Telling is Le Guin's first follow-up novel set in the Hainish Cycle since her 1974 novel The Dispossessed. It tells the story of Sutty, a Terran sent to be an Ekumen observer, on the planet Aka, and her experiences of political and religious conflicts between a corporatist government and the indigenous resistance, which is centered on the traditions of storytelling, locally referred to as "the Telling" (for which the book is named).
It has been noted that The Telling is just as much a story about religion and politics as it is a story about storytelling. It has also been noted as having a standard Le Guin writing approach because it has a clear outside observer/narrator and a setting that includes strongly contrasting civilizations.
There is something to be told about us for the telling of which we all wait. In our unwilling ignorance we hurry to listen to stories of old human life, new human life, fancied human life, avid of something to while away the time of unanswered curiosity. Many of the lesser things concerning us have been told, but the greater things have not been told; and nothing can fill their place. Whatever we learn of what is not ourselves, but ours to know, being of our universal world, will likewise leave the emptiness an emptiness. Until the missing story of ourselves is told, nothing besides told can suffice us: we shall go on quietly craving it.
How our story has been divided up among the truth-telling professions! Religion, philosophy, history, poetry, compete with one another for our ears; and science competes with all together. And for each we have a different set of ears. But, though we hear much, what we are told is as nothing: none of it gives us ourselves, rather each story-kind steals us to make its reality of us.
Such a commitment to mutual truth-telling, Jackson asserts, is the only real force of unity across our innumerable differences, which cannot and should not be eradicated but can be and must be understood. In her closing paragraphs, framed in extended parentheses, she writes:
In the picturesque village of Guzmán, Spain, in a cave dug into a hillside on the edge of town, an ancient door leads to a cramped limestone chamber known as "the telling room." Containing nothing but a wooden table and two benches, this is where villagers have gathered for centuries to share their stories and secrets - usually accompanied by copious amounts of wine.It was here, in the summer of 2000, that Michael Paterniti found himself listening to a larger-than-life Spanish cheesemaker named Ambrosio Molinos de las Heras as he spun an odd and compelling tale about a piece of cheese. An unusual piece of cheese. Made from an old family recipe, Ambrosio's cheese was reputed to be among the finest in the world, and was said to hold mystical qualities. Eating it, some claimed, conjured long-lost memories. But then, Ambrosio said, things had gone horribly wrong ...By the time the two men exited the telling room that evening, Paterniti was hooked. Soon he was fully embroiled in village life, relocating his young family to Guzmán in order to chase the truth about this cheese and explore the fairy tale–like place where the villagers conversed with farm animals, lived by an ancient Castilian code of honor, and made their wine and food by hand, from the grapes growing on a nearby hill and the flocks of sheep floating over the Meseta.What Paterniti ultimately discovers there in the highlands of Castile is nothing like the idyllic slow-food fable he first imagined. Instead, he's sucked into the heart of an unfolding mystery, a blood feud that includes accusations of betrayal and theft, death threats, and a murder plot. As the village begins to spill its long-held secrets, Paterniti finds himself implicated in the very story he is writing.Equal parts mystery and memoir, travelogue and history, The Telling Room is an astonishing work of literary nonfiction by one of our most accomplished storytellers. A moving exploration of happiness, friendship, and betrayal, The Telling Room introduces us to Ambrosio Molinos de las Heras, an unforgettable real-life literary hero, while also holding a mirror up to the world, fully alive to the power of stories that define and sustain us.
Mental health 'recovery narratives' are increasingly used within teaching, learning and practice environments. The mainstreaming of their use has been critiqued by scholars and activists as a co-option of lived experience for organisational purposes. But how people report their experiences of telling their stories has not been investigated at scale. We present accounts from 71 people with lived experience of multiple inequalities of telling their stories in formal and informal settings. A reflexive thematic analysis was conducted within a critical constructivist approach. Our overarching finding was that questions of power were central to all accounts. Four themes were identified: (1) Challenging the status quo; (2) Risky consequences; (3) Producing 'acceptable' stories; (4) Untellable stories. We discuss how the concept of narrative power foregrounds inequalities in settings within which recovery stories are invited and co-constructed, and conclude that power imbalances complicate the seemingly benign act of telling stories of lived experience. 2b1af7f3a8