Storysharing: When and how do you share others’ stories?

These links raise the questions about how and when we share stories/memories that others have told us. What requires permission to be retold, and how can we retell stories not our own while staying true to the message? These are all important questions that this second article brings forward, especially when stories are used in consumer culture where stories can easily be appropriated and altered to sell a product, an idea, or a cause.,0,5339695,full.story

Also, for fun: check out these 6 word memoirs by 6th grade students 🙂


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2 Responses to Storysharing: When and How do you share others’ stories?

  1. Mike Goulding says:

    I found the LA Times article, as well as the blog particularly interesting. They raise MANY questions about storytelling, sharing, and much more. The first article, drawing on a recent happening of a doctor writing an experience with a patient, sheds light on the massive grey area that marks the idea of “permission”. It seems that the doctor may have not even told his patient that he was writing about her and HER experience. All he has to do is simply replace names, places, and clues that could give her identity away. He can literally write the story about her without any certification of affirmation of any detail by the patient. Is this even hers story anymore? Or is it now the story of the patient’s alias, a figment of imagination?

    This method of prescribing names and made up creations to stories to avert being sued is not sustainable in a storytelling world. Each story written, filmed, or told should bear the closest perception or portrayal of what truly happened. The fact that Robert Jr. went to Aubuchon Hardware to get steel cotton is crucial to the incite one could gain about the story, even though these are rather minuscule details. You then change Robert’s name to Bill and now he goes to Home Depot to get PVC piping, you have changed the course of the story and how I, the listener perceive it. Thing is, the teller has no idea of his changes to the story are to affect his listeners.

    If one does not remember or is conciously and OPENLY changing bits of a story, I do not see much immorality in that. When you are changing a story to fit your agenda so that you don’t have to seek permission or risk being sued, I do see a lapse in the morality of storytelling. This method and the idea of “permission” in storytelling yearns for a discussion

  2. Veronica Santana says:

    I found both this blog and article to touch on something that I have been grappling with for the past year in trying to write of my life and experiences for public consumption. As the article details, memory of an event or part of one’s life is not the same for everyone involved, especially when the situation puts someone(s) in a non-positive light. The airing of “dirty laundry” of one’s family for example can hurt feelings, ruin relationships within the family, affect employment, and can just have very negative repercussions for everyone involved. It then becomes a question about why someone woud feel they are entitled to share a story that will have this effect on people. Because they are an artist? Because the story needs to be told? If you are benefiting, either financially or through recognition from sharing stories, these reasonings don’t seem to hold water. I want to write about my experiences with my family, because I feel it speaks to the struggles of being working class, Puerto Rican, Latina woman, and other intersecting identities. But, in writing about my family for pubic consumption there is a power dynamic. Where is my own sense of ego and entitlement in feeling I can share the personal aspects of my family member’s lives? Am I disempowering them by defining their ives for them? For gaining recognition or compensation from their pain and struggles they may not want to be shared? This article spurred more of the debate I have been having within myself for a long time.

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