History brought into a form: political storytelling

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von Heyking, John
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De Gruyter
Storytelling is the form of the collective life we call politics. Politics is about performing actions and subsequently sharing stories about those actions. To answer the question posed as the title of this volume, history emerges when human beings perform actions together, and then reflect together upon those actions, frequently as Homer says they feast “at rows of tables throughout the banquet hall.” History emerges from the “eranos” or “love feast” people share. This essay examines the experiential core of this transition from action to thought, and back to action again, by considering Homer’s presentation of Odysseus’ visit to the land of the Phaeacians and his conversation with King Alcinous. The essay then considers a 20th-century instantiation of storytelling as history in the form of the statesman, Winston Churchill.
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Political storytelling , Homer's Odysseus , Storytelling as history , Winston Churchill
von Heyking,J. (2020). History brought into a form: Political storytelling. In T. Schabert & J. von Heyking (Eds.), Where from does history emerge? Inquiries in political cosmogony (pp. 77-96). De Gruyter. https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110672206-007