The Importance of Stories

The Importance of Stories

Shakespeare The Who Pays the Rent by Judi Dench

It’s only when we lose someone dear that we realise how valuable their stories are to us. Listening to stories handed down through the family gives us a sense of identity and belonging but unfortunately, the tradition of storytelling is being lost as families sit in front of a screen instead of interacting and sharing memories. The realisation of stories lost can come too late especially as our memories can play tricks on us and we misremember details or events. Shakespeare The Man Who Pays the Rent by Judi DenchI suppose the thing would be to write down our stories before it is too late, but how many of us start out with good intentions then let them drift away as the busyness of life overtakes us again. Keeping track of our family tree can be one way of holding on to the past but they tend to offer little information about the person with just the barest facts of their life.

Some of our own personal histories may be lost in time but that need to record experiences for posterity for some can result in a published book and if you are interesting enough, or famous enough, that book could end up on the shelves of your local library!

Memoir books from Clare Balding, Jeremy Clarkson and Brendan O'CarrollPlenty of others write personal memoirs as a cathartic way of dealing with trauma, working through grief or even as a way to gain support for a perceived injustice. The effort and dedication it has taken them to write down their painful experiences warrant some sort of recognition but at the very least the act of recording their experiences should bring them some relief in the long run as well as providing a record for those coming after them.

Our lives can be built on the stories of others as well as on our own and sometimes this can bring us comfort with the knowledge that we are not alone and that others have experienced the same as us.

Some new autobiographies just coming to our library shelves in the next weeks include famous (or infamous) names such as :-

  • Jeremy Clarkson who has produced the third in his Diddly Squat books (entitled ‘Pigs Might Fly) about his recent exploits on the Farm. Love him or hate him you have to admire his ‘try anything’ attitude. It certainly provides us with some entertainment, whether on screen or in a book.
  • Brendan O’Carroll who has published his autobiography ‘Call Me Mrs Brown too going right back in his family tree up to present day with the humorous anecdotes you would expect from him balanced by the uncertain, conflicted world he grew up in.
  • Clare Balding whose new book ‘Isle of Dogs’ showcases our canine friends in all their glory. As a dog lover Clare takes us on a journey across Britain with her wife Alice informing us of the history of dogs in society, of the pets in her own family and covers dog school, rescue dogs, show dogs and training dogs as well as taking us to see how they can impact and support others, as assistance dogs, and mental health help. This is a fascinating insight into Clare’s life as well as a good read – and if you are a dog lover it is well worth picking up!
  • Judi Dench - Shakespeare The Man Who Pays the Rent brings to life this wonderful actress’s life though the Shakespearean roles that she has played throughout the years





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