The Tale-Tellers

To be human is to have a story and to tell stories – an ‘I’ only comes into being thanks to the ‘we’s’ which, through stories, we are taught to identify with and relate to.

Each and every detail of our precious identities, from our names to our birthdates to our family histories to our national identities to our religions, is part of a story that was invented at a particular place and time, constructed in the same way as all stories are constructed.

As opposed to the simplistic, involuntary fictions, which we absorb unwittingly from the day we are born until the day we die, novels are rich and voluntary fictions. Because they encourage us to identify and empathize with people unlike ourselves and give us access to their inner lives, novels can play an important ethical role in the world of today.