Heureka! I’ve got it!

A subject for this blog – and a name for it,  apart from just boring “Elias’ blog.”

My problem was, that when I was thinking about what I wanted to fill this blog with, I was imagining just about everything: Rolplaying, writing, computer games, film, literature, maybe a bit of journalism, a dash of philosophy, let simmer a few years and you get… nothing. Just a random collection of thoughts. But then I realized that there is a red thread running through almost all the things I do: they have to do with stories and storytelling.

The kind of storytelling that I spend most time on is Roleplaying. The fantastic thing about storytelling is excactly that you create a story together, a story which is more real, more living, than if a single one of you were to have written it. This is my measure of a good roleplaying game: I don’t care about realism, and immersion usually leaves me luke warm – but a game that helps us tell a magnificent story wins my heart every day.

Another kind of storytelling is of course the more standard kinds of storytelling, with a clearcut storyteller and a definite audience. Today, this is ususally films and books, both of which I love and have far less time for than I’d like. But from my mother, I inherited another kind of storytelling: storytelling! The kind where you tell a story to a captive audience, telling a story, written in advance by you or someone else, yet not read aloud, but told, adapted to fit the teller and the listener; gesturing and acting, but never leaving the role of the storyteller. This kind of story flourished in hundreds and thousands of years in a largely ilitterate world. Today, though, it has dwindled, now being mostly the province of professionals.

Journalism, between Truth and Story
Journalism is of course also, in its nature, about storytelling. In fact, it lies in the language of journalism: the greatest treasure of a journalist, his preciousss, is his story. A journalist is like a prospector, panning the rushing streams of leads and information for the telltale gleam of pure, twentyfour karats STORY.

This is kind of ironic, though. A story is, in its nature, not true. It may be based on truth – but it is told, cutting out, colouring, highlighting the climax. Yet one of the the virtues of a journalist is his “truthfulness.” His articles should be True, not adding anything to the Truth, not at all embellishing, but only what is actually there, in his research. A journalist is expected, at the same time, to tell a riveting exciting story that draws in his reader, and tell his story as objectively as not humanly possible. Oh, the paradox (and the Humanity, obviously – journalism certainly has its Hindenburgs from time to time).

Interactive stories
Another kind of storytelling I’m rather fond of, is the kind I can interteract with and control to a certain degree; I am, of course, talking about video games. To me, the game’s story is absolutely crucial. I have a friend who loves games like Hearts of Iron and Crusader Kings. To him, a game should be simulator; he knows nothing better than micromanaging an entire country, practically in realtime, through the World Wars or the Crusades. Iam quite different. I tried Crusader Kings, but quickly grew bored with it. Give me a good adventure game, on the other hand… I replayed Sid Meyer’s Alpha Centauri several times, because they have managed to infuse the game with a brilliant story, told through voice clips, videos and fragments of text.

So… Filemonia?
In short, storytelling is my game. It’s what I know, what I do, what I like. And thus, I’m going to be telling the world that this is a blog about storytelling.

So, why the title, “Filemonia”? Well, gather around, now, and I’ll tell you the story. The first time I told stories (that is, did actual storytelling), I told the Norwegian fairy tale, Tatterhood, as well as a Danish folk tale. Now, Tatterhood is my mother’s signature tale and a story of female empowerment, and the other had a cumbersome title in Danish.

The next time, however, the first time I actually spent a lot of time preparing myself for the storytelling, I told two brilliant tales by Michael Ende. The first was “the Dreameater,” a fabulous little tale of the King of Sleepland, who goes on a quest to find a cure for his princess’s terrible nightmares, and return with a verse that summons the Dreameater, who arrives to eat all the nightmares. A nice tale, which I actually considered for the title of the blog. The other, however…

The other Ende tale was one called Philemon Faltenreich (Philemon rich-on-folds), about an elephant, standing on the bank of the Holy River. However, a group of flies decide to play a football match against Filemon, but he never notices. Now, Filemon was perfect for several reasons. It is a good little story, probably my favorite. The word – Filemonia – is nice, and sounds a bit like both philosophy and harmony. And finally, Filemon is a philosopher, and an  elephant, just like me (please, don’t ask me why I am an elphant – just take my word for it).

And thus, I got this show well and truly under way. Hope you will find it interesting, though provoking, entertaining, worth returning to, worth reading and worth commenting.

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