Not so creative are we?

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"There is only one story. Ever. One. It's always been going on and it's everywhere around us and every story you've ever read or heard or watched is part of it."

                                                    -How to Read Literature Like a Professor                                                                         By Thomas C. Foster  pg.32

Has creativity gone out the window? Are the only true creative people the one who first began to tell stories? This notion of there only being one story puts that thought into my head. How can there only be one story? I really doubt that Stephen King and Dr. Suess are in the same spectrum. Would you call them one in the same? I don't think I would. It is not that I completely disagree with this text because it does have some truth and I will give it that. 

I understand that every  story can build off of or take from another story but to call it all one story? That sounds a bit boring to me. Doesn't having one big story just seem to take the fun out of reading? NO CREATIVITY! And if there is no creatvity then what do we read liturature? I'm Pretty sure humans made literature for enjoyment.  Reading the same thing over and over again is not my idea of fun.

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7 Comments

Rosalind Blair said:

I do not agree that it is all one story. I agree that having just one big story would take fun out of reading. It would make it seem that a new book was something you had already read before. Creativity is what makes literature enjoyable. It’s what makes one authors work completely different from another’s. Everyone has a different style and level of creativity and that is what determines the entertainment value of a piece of literature.

Matt Henderson said:

I think the idea that everything is one story is only boring depending on how you look at it. I actually enjoy finding connections between the story I'm reading and other stories. I mean, wouldn't it be fun to see if you could find parallels between two stories as seemingly disparate as The Cat in the Hat and The Shining? Let's see, they're both about forces that take hold of a building and cause all hell to break loose, and like Jack Torrance, the fact that Sally and the narrator are not playing makes them dull, so they need some outside force to get them to engage their wild side...I don't know. But I actually think it's very creative for a writer to knowingly borrow elements from some previous story and then craft a story that's seemingly entirely different but uses those same elements. Intertextuality can really enhance a work of literature because it can take old stories and then make you think of them in new ways. It's pretty much impossible to write a story that doesn't have some sort of similarity to previous stories, so you might as well make it work for you.

Jennifer Prex said:

I agree that saying there is only one story is a little extreme. I can understand where Foster is coming from, though. As there have been so many stories written by now, it is difficult--almost impossible--to come up with something that is completely new and original. I know that in some of my writing classes, this is a topic that has come up. It is still possible to be original, because you can take what is out there and put your own spin on it. Make it your own. Put different known elements together in a new way in order to make it your own--make something original. I think that this may be what Foster means. No, every story is not the same, but many factors included within stories are.

April Minerd said:

I think Foster was suggesting the one story is life. Nearly every experience has already been had, and every word already been said. So in many ways, it's about the art of retelling the story to make it relevant for a new generation. Prophets in biblical days felt it was the responsibility of the next prophet to edit his original work to insure that the message would not be lost for future generations: make it appropriate for the times.

April Minerd said:

I think Foster was suggesting the one story is life. Nearly every experience has already been had, and every word already been said. So in many ways, it's about the art of retelling the story to make it relevant for a new generation. Consider that prophets in biblical days felt it was the responsibility of the next prophet to edit his original work to insure that the message would not be lost for future generations: make it appropriate for the times.

April Minerd said:

I think Foster was suggesting the one story is life. Nearly every experience has already been had, and every word already been said. So in many ways, it's about the art of retelling the story to make it relevant for a new generation. Consider that prophets in biblical days felt it was the responsibility of the next prophet to edit his original work to insure that the message would not be lost for future generations: make it appropriate for the times.

April Minerd said:

Everything becomes one story because life is the only story. Nearly every experience has already been had, and every word already been said. So in many ways, it's about the art of retelling the story to make it relevant for a new generation. Consider that prophets in biblical days felt it was the responsibility of the next prophet to edit previous writings to insure the message never lost value for future generations: make it appropriate for the times.

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