Brain Pickings

A State of Wonder: Margaret Atwood on How Technology Shapes Storytelling While Obeying Its Eternal Constants

“Everybody is telling a ‘Story of My Life’ to themselves all the time.”

At the 2014 Future of Storytelling Summit, I collaborated with animator Drew Christie on a short film about wisdom in the age of information. For the 2015 edition, Christie was tasked with animating Margaret Atwood’s meditation on how technology both shapes storytelling and obeys the eternal constants undergirding it.

Please enjoy:

The way you move content from here to there does influence what gets written and how it gets written.


Storytelling is part of being human — you can’t separate it from being a human being. Whether you call it “professional storytelling” or not, everybody is telling a Story of My Life to themselves all the time. So how you tell a story, how many pieces you tell the story in … all of these things are old — it’s just that we think of new ways to distribute them.

I walk around in a state of wonder every day. Everything’s exciting.

Complement with Neil Gaiman on how stories last, then revisit Atwood’s ten rules of writing and Christie’s animated short film about Mark Twain and the myth of originality.

Published September 23, 2015




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