How to read a story

storyIn Reading the Bible: Intention, Text, Interpretation I wrote:

    A valuable approach as reader is to consider that reading a text is a performing art. I do not mean by this that one needs to learn to be an oral interpreter, although that is a good skill to develop. I mean that in reading a text one must engage every bit of creativity, of sensitivity, of intellect and feeling that one possesses. The story is in the text, but its full experience is in the mind of the reader. The story provides form and directs responses, and the reader completes the communicative act. Think of the text as a musical score and yourself as a performing musician. The notes are there – are in the score – and you must be able to perform them on your musical instrument. You need to bring technical skill, sensitivity to nuance, and knowledge of the language of musical notation to the task.

It is interesting that casting a story and having it read as a script can be a useful approach to many stories. For example:

Here is a report of such a reading in the university class room.

Comments are welcome.


One thought on “How to read a story

  1. I agree! I took a class in oral interpretation once that was the best preparation for public speaking and, believe it or not, for reading texts. Considering how the words will sound is an amazing way to understanding what you are reading.


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