Storyteller at Fault, The

The Storyteller at Fault by Dan Yashinsky, art by Nancy Cairine Pitt. Charlottetown,PEI: Ragweed Press, 1992. ISBN 0-921.556-29-2 $9.95 63 P

Dan Yashinsky has always loved frame stories, and this book, based on a performance he first gave in 1991, is his addition to the genre. The frame story is that of a Storyteller performing for the King. The King realizes he has heard the story before and condemns the Storyteller to death for the crime of forgetfulness and for being careless with his priceless stories. The Storyteller begs for the chance to tell one last, secret story and is given it.

This last, secret story is set up as a frame within the frame. A father goes to tell his son a story, but the son refuses. Life has shown him that not all tales end happily-ever-after. Through dialogue and a story, the father gets the son to agree to listen to ten stories that don't end with these famous words. Then comes a series of nine delightful world folktales offering a wide variety of type and situation. The frame ends with the storyteller unable to finish his tale, since it is the main character in it' The King pardons the Storyteller who can now go back to his son to finish the story and complete the frame within a frame.

The credibility of the outer frame relies on the idea that the King's scribe created a memory machine which captured all the ales of the Storyteller. While the concept has great potential, the idea of a scribe keying stories into his database and producing “hard, hard copy" just doesn’t
jibe for me. Fortunately, Yashinsky doesn't labour this image, and it is easy to overlook for the sake of enjoyment of the rest of the book.

Reviewed by Marion Chiduck
The Second Story Review, Vol 1, No. 1, March 1996
Mot de passe oublié?