chapter
Narrators and audiences for Fantasy
WithAnderson Graham
Pages 10

At the highest public level, find the rhetoricians’ practice of warming up an audience on any occasion at which a formal speech was required. An ‘Aesopic’ fable usefully attests to the value of storytelling in public recitation: The orator Demades was once addressing the people of Athens, and since they paid little attention to his speech he asked for permission to tell them a fable of Aesop. The great majority of storytellers and opportunities that know of are not professional, and their activity covers a wide range of occasions. Most obvious is the dining and after-dinner conversations at a symposium or equivalent, whether the diners are highly educated or not. As well as the purely entertaining aspect of storytelling, there is also the element of instruction or conveying of wisdom information largely inherent in the nature of an oral tale.