The Secret of Stories

At the beginning of Chapter 12, while Rahel is at the temple Roy’s words stood out to me about the “secret” formula of stories. While being home I have been watching a lot of movies that my parents liked to watch in the 80’s and around that time. Roy describes the Power of Stories and why people choose to rewatch a movie or reread a specific book even after multiple years, and they still enjoy it as much as they did the first time.

The secret of the Great Stories is that they have no secrets. The Great Stories are the ones you have heard and want to hear again. The ones you can enter anywhere and inhabit comfortably. They don’t deceive you with thrills and trick endings. They don’t surprise you with the unforeseen. (218)

While the first part of the quote may seem unimportant at first, this is exactly the reason books or movies continue to be popular even though it has been years since they came out and are labeled “classics.” But the second part of the quote is what really ties it all together.

They are as familiar as the house you live in. Or the smell of your lover’s skin. You know how they end, yet you listen as though you don’t. In the way that although you know that one day you will die, you live as though you won’t. In the Great Stories you know who lives, who dies, who finds love, who doesn’t. And yet you want to know again. (218)

This was giving me flashbacks to the beginning of the year when we talked about the power of stories, which I think especially is true with God of Small Things. The language and the characters are “fresh and different” the book is something different and has a different feeling when you read it. I think something that makes this book so enjoyable is because the book from the beginning is familiar and easy to enjoy. It doesn’t require a lot of deep thinking, but is still able to communicate a deeper meaning. Overall, this quote really made me think about all of the books and even movies that I reread and rewatch and the reason I keep doing it even though I already know everything that happens.

4 thoughts on “The Secret of Stories

  1. Olivia K

    I am also captivated by the reality of that quote. Stories have so much power in our day to day lives, and the ones that I remember from my childhood are ones that I never want to forget. Stories like Inception, Game of Thrones, and Harry Potter are classics that were so ridiculously powerful in my life that I don’t think I can ever forget them.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Kirsten, this goes back to Nabakov’s ideas about what makes a “good writer” and “good reader.” He made it clear that storytelling is as much a physical as a mental exercise. And you know a good stories — a “Great Story” — when you are lost in it and its reality becomes your reality for while. That’s the magic — the tingle down the spine — that Nabakov talks about.


  3. Logan G

    I like the quote that you picked because It brings a connection to the reader. I believe when everyone reads that quote they instantly think of the great story that they heard when they were a kid and haven’t forgotten about it.


  4. Geneva D

    I really like this quote and think that it relates to our year really well. The whole year we have talked about stories and how important they are, and how they connect to us. Also, this book doesn’t feel like a chore to read. It’s enjoyable and you don’t want to put it down. And like it says in the quote, I would want to read this again.


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