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The Obligations of the Storyteller

Lately, almost involuntarily, I’ve found myself thinking about my favorite writers as being either “warm” or “cold.” Barry Lopez is warm:

“I would ask you to remember only this one thing,” said Badger. “The stories people tell have a way of taking care of them. If stories come to you, care for them. And learn to give them away where they are needed. Sometimes a person needs a story more than food to stay alive. That is why we put these stories in each other’s memory. This is how people care for themselves. One day you will be good story-tellers. Never forget these obligations.”

from Crow and Weasel (1990)

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