FICTION

John Berger is a novelist, poet, art critic, painter, farmer, and general provocateur. Here is something he said about stories:

There are two categories of storytelling. Those that treat of the invisible and the hidden, and those that expose and offer the revealed. What I call — in my own special and physical sense of the terms — the introverted category and the extroverted one. Which of the two is likely to be more adapted to, more trenchant about what is happening in the world today? I believe the first.

Because its stories remain unfinished. Because they involve sharing. Because in their telling a body refers as much to a body of people as to an individual. Because for them mystery is not something to be solved but to be carried. Because, although they may deal with sudden violence or loss or anger, they are long-sighted. And, above all, because their protagonists are not performers but survivors.

Which kind of storyteller are you?

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