Tuesday, July 01, 2008

What Would Jesus Read? part deux

The case for non-fiction in one short day...

Just got my latest Newsweek and Fast Company. I love Tuesdays if only for that reason. Both magazines had prominent stories on... stories. And this time they were about historical stories. A couple of story quotes popped up in these mags as well as an npr story in my car.

Newsweek's summer double issue (which really was the same size as always but an excuse for them to take a vacation) was about Global Literacy. The editor, Jon Meacham, wrote the introduction and titled it "The Stories We Tell Ourselves". He said, "What we choose to remember is critical, since the narratives that play in our heads shape everything." He's speaking to historical education through proper non-fictional narrative.

Fast Company wrote an article called The Battle of Gettysburg. The writer said that people were not coming because they want to be immersed in experience and movie-inspired storytelling. (sidenote- sounds like this would make a great book). The article says that the historical sites have an important story to tell but it must innovate to tell them.

NPR did a short obituary of Clay S. Felker who was the founder of New York Magazine. He was a pioneer in journalism because he encouraged the news reporters to not just spew facts but to connect the reader by engaging them in the story. He changed the face of journalism and was an important figure in our culture's insatiable appetite for stories.

3 examples in one day of historical, non-fiction storytelling. So would Jesus read non-fiction? My guess is a definite maybe except that he might be a bit of a tough critic. Wonder if Jesus would blog? Another post for another time.

Personally, I love non-fiction as well. Mainly it is for the reason that Jon Meacham speaks of in his article, I want to learn from the past so I don't repeat it. Nothing worse than a lesson unlearned.