1the storytelling monkey
Famous paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould defined man as “the primate who tells stories”. Terry Pratchett, the English humorist and inventor of the irresistible “Discworld”, estimates that the term “homo sapiens” is an excessive promise (wisdom not being one of our more manifest characteristics!) and in reality man is more of a “pan narrans” – a storytelling monkey.
On Pratchett’s Discworld, where concepts are materialized (for example there’s a little god of sock holes and another for drawers that get stuck, who clearly don’t just operate in Discworld), there is an elementary substance called the “narrativium”. The “narrativium” presides over the story of man the way carbon presides over life. To take a concrete example, if we went on the moon in 69 on board a rocket launched from Florida, it’s because we’d been telling ourselves stories about the moon for thousands of years and that Jules Vernes cleverly suggested we shoot an empty rocket from Florida. Otherwise, why on earth would we have gone for a wander on this empty rock that we can see very well from here? The SF authors had already told us anyways that there are no Martians on the moon. Without the narrativium, there is no big step for mankind or even any little step for a single man.
The narrativium is just as essential to humans than carbon, oxygen or hydrogen!…to summarize
From the narrativium, many living things are born. Fairytales, legends, myths and sagas, theatre, song, novel, series, comics, cinema, radio, TV, videogames, the Web, and much more… all of them more or less related to each other and born of an impact with another element, around the hearth or on the village square, with paper, ink, photography, magnetic or electronic waves; the narrativium inflames any kind of wood and spreads faster than the Swine Flu (which also feeds on the narrativium, by the way, but that’s another story). Put up a stage or a white sheet anywhere, and the narrativium settles in, it’s beyond its control. Or beyond ours, should I say.
And today, here it is sharpening its little teeth to take a bite of transmedia, it’s too tempting, this nice big space as large as the planet!…
The blacksmith-poets of the narrativium are wondering: which form should we give this new device, which is already fermenting everywhere? The trick (as for the Swine Flu, by the way) could be to mutate with its host, and that would complicate their task!