This is a fascinating article and story from Mr. Cheah, readers. Check it out!
Three Storytellers, Two Listeners, One Story
In his essay ‘The Counterfactual Dialectic’ in Pulp on Pulp, Misha Burnett discusses the use of dialectic to determine what is said to the reader, how it is said, and what the reader will take away from it. I loved the concept so much, I used it for my own work Diary of A Bomoh—with a twist.
Central to the dialectic is the Room, the Storyteller and the Listener. The Room is the place where the story is told; it is not the story itself. The Storyteller is the person who tells the story; he is not the author. The Listener is the person who is listening to the Storyteller; he is not the reader. The relationship between the Storyteller and the Listener determines how the story is told—in other words, the writing style.
The Storyteller is telling the story for a purpose: to persuade the Listener, to pass on a story, to work out an ‘official’ version of the tale. The Listener has its own motivations: to do something contrary to the Storyteller’s wishes, to learn something from him, to please a superior. The relationship between them, and their motivations, affects how the story will be told.
The story is told from the perspective that everything described in the story is true. The author and the reader know that the story is fiction, but where these characters are concerned, the story really did happen (more or less) the way the Storyteller tells it.