Tag Archives: Favorite Stories

Star Trek vs. Monty Python

20 May

Re-edit, tell a new story.

Well done, sir, well done.

Good Writing Makes Sense of the World

25 Feb

I’ve often heard it said that the act of writing helps us make sense of the world.  I quoted Alan Watts yesterday, who says that myth serves the same purpose. Ever since I received D’Aulaires Book of Greek Myths as a child, I’ve been drawn to them. As a friend pointed out in the comments, the short piece I posted a few days back, The Body is a Fairy Tale, is a creation story.

Arguably, all good stories help us make sense of the world. The stories I’m drawn to often also illuminate and reveal a particular environment, culture, or time and place. They’re not necessarily mythic, but they’re as much about a specific society or subculture as they are about an individual character. When they’re well done, they pull you in and make you care about that world, while at the same time reflecting back on your own.

Here’s a short list of stories that I love that fit the bill, some of which have elements of myth and fairy tale.

Chinatown (Robert Towne, screenplay)
The Wizard of Oz (Frank L. Baum, novel)
Arcadia (Tom Stoppard, play)
In the Skin of A Lion (Michael Ondaatje, novel)
The Dark Knight (Christopher Nolan, screenplay)
Dogeaters (Jessica Hagedorn, novel)
Network (Paddy Chayefsky, screenplay)
A Disappearing Number (Complicite Theatre, devised play)
His Dark Materials Trilogy (Phillip Pullman, novels)

What myths, creation, subculture stories do you enjoy? Have you ever tried to write a creation myth?