The Moth

Friday, September 06, 2013

Catherine Burns, artistic director of The Moth, its founder George Dawes Green, and contributor Dr. George Lombardi discuss the art of telling stories. The book The Moth presents 50 spellbinding, soul-bearing stories selected from the extensive archive.



Catherine Burns, George Dawes Green and Dr. George Lombardi

Comments [9]

A.M. from NYC

And the trumped up "outreach" PR (veterans and high school students, yeah right) is all part of the usual image-enhancing game.

Sep. 06 2013 01:03 PM
Lee from NYC

Please ask them if I can hire them to sell an appropriated version if my own everyday nobility and humanity back to me! A bargain at half the price! Thank you SO Much!

Sep. 06 2013 12:50 PM
Ellen LoGuidice from FFLD CT

Please ask them to talk about the story about the hitchhiker who took a ride with Jeffry Dahmer. It was fascinating!

Sep. 06 2013 12:38 PM
A.M. from NYC

Kathleen Condon, thanks for your eloquent and informative post. I don't think The Moth has the slightest interest in knowing about or engaging in the type of FOLK culture you describe. These are elitists engaged in marketing elitist work for elites and elite wannabe's. They're unworthy of your interest or thoughtfulness.

Sep. 06 2013 12:33 PM
kathleen condon from Brooklyn, ny

For years folklorist Steve Zeitlin, for one, has specifically championed the ART of informal storytelling. This goes back to the early 70s with his focus on family folklore and up to the present with his many years of work at Citylore. In terms of the more "rehearsed" style being popularized now by the moth--this sort of thing was also done years ago with the pathbreaking group Elders Share The Arts, which still exists today. This focus on the informal story in folklore is not just local; in the mid-20th-century, the Swedish folklorist Carl Von Sydow coined the term "memorate" to describe this art form. Please ask the the organizer of the Moth if they are familiar with the decades of work in this area by folklorists, and how they see the the art form they are focusing on as "new" in relation to what I have described above.

Sep. 06 2013 12:24 PM
Hilary Sweeney from Westchester

Story telling was considered not only an art form but also a profession in rural Irish culture, the story teller was known as a Seanachai.

Sep. 06 2013 12:13 PM
Lou Viola from Brooklyn

Please ask Catherine to address the therapeutic benefit of storytelling using the example of the stand-up from Chicago in Aspen who told the story of choosing between his career and sick child...

I'm a daily listener

Sep. 06 2013 12:13 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

I have enough soul-searing stories of my family and my own, so what do I need to indulge in the tear-jerking stories of others, when nobody cares about mine? Story telling is a great form of entertainment, and there would be no plays, books, movies nor video games without them, so I am not against story-telling. And story-telling can be cathartic, allowing the teller to get their grief off their chest. It can certainly help. But generally speaking, it's just entertainment.

Sep. 06 2013 12:12 PM
Maggie from Morristown

Please ask where the name The Moth came from.
I think of moths around a campfire as people tell stories.

Sep. 06 2013 12:10 PM

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