5 interesting facts about storytelling in our history

Cab Drivers, Decembrists, and the First Media Description of the Battle
Author of the article: Tatiana Zhakova
Journalist, linguist, teacher of storytelling with 10 years of experience
In 2015 she created and promoted her project about Nizhny Novgorod, nnstories.ru, after which she created a course called "Storytelling: How to Tell Your Story" based on it. Over 4,000 students have taken the course.

A linguist by education, she quickly masters new areas. Now she is actively studying screenwriting and storytelling in movies/serials, and writes about it in her project's blog.
"The Odyssey, the first "hero's journey" in literature
In storytelling, there is the concept of the "hero's journey. It is the set of events and complexities that brings the hero of any story to a point where he is already completely changed from the beginning.

One of the first to introduce this concept was Joseph Campbell, whose work, The Thousand-Year Hero, is one of the major books on storytelling that one is advised to read.

So, the first "hero's way" noticed in world literature was actually the plots of the major works in world history: Homer's Iliad and Odyssey. The history of literature generally begins with them, and it is noteworthy that we see examples of the use of storytelling elements already here. So, the storytelling and the storyline were already inseparable.
And you know what else is interesting? The scale of the journey. After the events of the Iliad, Odysseus travels for ten more years, from Troy to Ithaca. His way is described as full of difficulties and obstacles, but just think: by modern standards, it is a journey from Turkey to Greece! Fly this way now for 1.5 hours, and even by those standards, the way by sea took several days.

And all because after a strong economic crisis, the whole space was greatly compressed in the eyes of our contemporaries, and the trip of 40 kilometers has become like a difficult adventure. But that's another story...
The first documented battle in history
One day I came across a diary of a Jewish girl, Eva, on Instagram, which was positioned as "what if there had been an Instagram during the Holocaust?"

The question of documentation of terrible and war events has always been interesting to me, and I found out, for example, that during World War II there were hundreds of war newspapers, propaganda was active there too, and journalists and photographers even found where in these woods to show their negatives and how to send the written texts.

However, what was my surprise when I found out that the first battle documented almost by the hour that reached people in the "peaceful" part was the battle in the 2nd millennium BC! And it is called "The Battle of Kadesh. The Egyptians and Hittites fought for supremacy, of course!

And we have survived not only the texts of the battle, but also frescoes with bas-reliefs, and even a peace treaty.

I wonder what this chariot battle would have looked like if there had been Instagram back then?
Grandmothering as a phenomenon of experience transmission through stories
If we ask ourselves how humans became wiser and more evolved, and evolved from monkeys to society, we can see one interesting trend. One of the main processes that marked the transition to a conscious society was grandmothering. Grandmothering in English.

This is when the ancients realized that without knowing the mistakes of the past, they could not move forward, and began to take care of their ancestors and honor them. In the absence of writing, it was necessary to draw information from somewhere about what tools they had and how people dealt with raids decades ago. This is what helped the enterprising man of reason to survive, who at some point realized that his grandmother was the bank of knowledge and experience of his predecessors and began to take care of her.

And grandmothers, in turn, not only shed light on tools and ancient traditions, but also shared stories, tales and legends with their granddaughters and granddaughters, which is already the beginnings of storytelling. So this funny word "grandmothering" actually played a very important role in the survival and domestication of our human species.
Why do Russian cab drivers always tell stories?
Ever wonder why cab drivers in Russia are so chatty? In no other country in the world would a cab driver share his opinion on politics with you and advise you on where to invest your money.
It all began with tsarist Russia, namely, with the 19th century and the reign of Nicholas the First - the same one whose reign began with the Decembrists. So, under him, Benckendorff became head of the secret tsarist police. He had to be aware of all the unrest and possible conspiracies in the country. He came up with the idea that the easiest way to do this was through the carriers - they had to quietly find out from their passengers, how they live and where they go.

As a rule, the cabmen were taken by wealthy people who were travelling from guests or a restaurant, and, as a rule, were tipsy. It was easy enough to get them to talk. And they were telling story after story, supporting the conversation, and could say something important.

So one day the cabbies were reclassified as cab drivers, but the habit of gabbing didn't disappear.

You know the famous joke that if you don't know what's going on in the country, you should take a cab, and "I'm actually a businessman, and a cab is just a hobby," will it all fall into place for you?
Every country had its Decembrists
Very often political ideas are in the air. And the country in which the upheaval takes place is not the only one with such thoughts and attitudes. For example, at the time of the Decembrists, it was very fashionable to hold views like these circles. And the Decembrists, it turns out, were not only in Russia.

In many countries there were Decembrists of their own.

Interesting? So do I! And while I have read and studied a great deal about the Decembrists in recent years - I understand their program and can enumerate the Decembrists from Nizhny Novgorod - this information, heard in one of my history classes, is absolutely new to me! I have not found details yet, but I am actively working on it. As I find it, I will continue the story.

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