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Talking the Walk: Processional Storytelling

Talking the Walk: Processional Storytelling

(p.127) Six Talking the Walk: Processional Storytelling
Another Haul
Charlie Groth
University Press of Mississippi

This chapter explores the detail of how stories are connected to landscape to create what Ryden calls “invisible landscape,” Casey calls “thickening,” and Johnstone calls “narrative texture.” The chapter traces how the narrative genres explored in the previous four genres appear in conversation on the island during very particular times in particular places, between particular people in the course of a regular night or morning of fishing. In discussing narrative’s role in sense of place, the chapter presents the idea that the river itself, an anti-structural force, influences storytelling. At the same time, when family, crew, customers, and other visitors break into smaller groups and rejoin at various stages, they collaboratively create narratives of the individual haul, the current year’s fishing season, and the emerging spring season. This activity is called “processional storytelling,” alluding to both the process of the fishing haul and ritual processions.

Keywords:   ritual, sense of place, anti-structure, narrative, procession

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