Story Hysteria

Telling all is a national obsession. Here's how to break through to the stories that really matter

| September/October 1997

Telling a story is one of the simplest and most natural things a human being can do. Increasingly, though, storytelling has taken on more specialized roles. It's been used to challenge the abstract theories of sociologists and other specialists; it's gained prestige in science, public policy, and a host of other areas; it's been used to conquer addiction, recover buried truths, and imagine alternative futures. In fact, there is so much telling going on, from incest memoirs to narrative therapy to gut-spilling on Oprah, that an inevitable question arises: Is the explosion of story giving us the stories that we as a culture need, for growth, healing, justice, and joy? Or is all the telling merely adding to info-glut?


Tell Your Own Stories

-> Café Entrance

If you haven't made a stop at Café Utne, you are missing many great stories or a chance to share yours. Thousands of people visit the Café each month, gathering to discuss hundreds of ongoing topics and spin stories. The Café, since 1995 has been one of the most active Web communities with its' unique mix of intelligent, witty and indepth conversations within chat-dominated cyberspace. Skilled conference hosts help users participate.

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Cover story section, September/October 1997.