The Father of Stories

August 21, 2009

posted by Caroline Picard

written by Italo Calvino


An Excerpt From If On  A Winter’s Night A Traveler

Another letter, again from Cerro Negro, is written, on the contrary, ina tone of inspired evocation: reporting–it seems–a local legend, it tells of an old Indian knowns as the Father of Stories, a man of immemmorial age, blind and illiterate, who uninterruptedly tells stories that take place in countries and in times completely unknown to him. The pheonenon has brought expeditions of anthropologists and parapsychologists; it has been determined that many novels published by famous authors had been recited word for word by the wheezine voice of the Father of Stories several years before their appearance. The old Indian, according to some, is the universal source of narrative material, the primoridal magma from which the individual manifestations of each writer develop; according to others, a seer who, thanks to his consumption of hallucinatory mushrooms, manages to establish communication with the inner world of the strongest visionary to still others he is the reincarnation of Homer, of the storyteller of the Arabian Nights, of the author of the Popol Vuh, as well as of Alexandre Dumas and James Joyce; but there are those who reply that Homer has no need to metempsychosis, since he never died and has continued through the millennia living and composing, the author, besides the couple of poems usually attributed to hm, also of many of the most famous narratives known to man. Ermes Marana, putting a tape recorder to the mouth of the cave where the old man hides….


2 Responses to “The Father of Stories”

  1. ooo I love this entire ‘concept’–thank you for this post—shanti om.

  2. joulail Says:

    thx for this great topic
    have a nice day

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