The Most Poignant, Succinct Summation of Storytelling

The art of storytelling fascinates me. Over the course of the last few years, through much reading and working writing into an everyday habit, I have developed my own theories and ideas about the nature of storytelling. Some of these I have tried to put into my own words, perhaps successfully, perhaps not.

Today, while going through my daily blog roll (in 5-minute intervals at work), I picked up this story on my favorite blog, Grantland. It is an obituary to Dean Smith, former coach of UNC men’s basketball, who passed away on Saturday. I have no particular connection to this man. I read the story only because it was written by one of my favorite writers, Charles P. Pierce. I will at least skim through everything that Pierce writes (even articles about baseball, which bores me to no end), for those nuggets of wisdom that he seemingly never fails to include.

In concluding an excellent tribute to Dean Smith’s life, Pierce summed up everything I have ever felt or learned about storytelling in the second-to-last paragraph. I will not quote it here, because I want to leave it up to you to decide whether to read the article in its entirety, or to simply read that particular paragraph.

Pierce has a habit of writing the most poignant, well thought-out, and sometimes hilarious articles about sports anywhere. Today, as with most of his work, he made me care about someone I had little to no connection to previously, while simultaneously teaching me something about myself as a writer.

So thank you, Mr. Pierce. I will do my best to carry your stories with me.

Steve D

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