Sunday, February 3, 2008

Why They are Called Tales

From Barbara Guest's essay "Why They are Called Tales" in her book Forces of Imagination:

"I put a name on each story, quite properly, and put this title at the top of the page, but the story looked top heavy. So I took the title away and I liked it better, but I was told that stories had titles so put it back in. No one will know what you are writing about unless you give a story a title, I was told.

"At this point I decided I didn't want to write a 'story.' But my fingers were empty and I missed my stories that were told in a manner I didn't like. It was then I discovered that the word 'story' was misleading and if I substituted 'tale' I could do anything I liked. So I wrote 'Tales' without any fixing and called them Stripped Tales." (34)

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