Invitation to a series of speculations on the subject of Language Arts

Life is stories – live stories

Language as a means to create reality

In the beginning was the Word – so it is written. In a series of words man creates reality, which is based on the wealth of terms of his language. This reality is the result of sound and sign. It is them to show the world the way we realise and understand it. It is them to constitute our individual reality and make it live. The very special idea of life is created by each of us individually.

Each person writes and tells his own story. Whoever looks back to his life realises it as a fixed and coherent story. Whoever narrates his experiences makes himself a frantic visionary of his own life by the production of a plausible narration of loose fragments. Each and every experience is being reported to defeat the prevailing principle of chaos by the structure of language. The very moment you give terms to what you experienced you make life senseful. Only then you can understand it, too.

In fact each single story might have happened completely differently, if you consider the free will of man. Most interesting is the fact that exactly the same experiences could have been reported completely differently, i. e. you could see the world with anybody else’s eyes to realise the idea of reality in a different way.

It is exactly this that provides the teasing side of narrations and is the core of poetry because here, at the very beginning of the production of endless varieties, the author takes his pen. The author checks the unlimited probabilities life can offer. He takes ideas of realities, combines them and produces a structure of coherent order. By doing so he creates a different but acceptable truth. He creates a new world of equal worth.

In the civilizations of the world people like and enjoy telling stories. We find this aspect in all of us. By working with migrant students of global origin, I definitely realise their endeavour to tell stories, so trying to give some order to life and to report unreportable things. They hope to make their experience understandable and realisable. By this I am repeatedly reminded of the facts that each human being provides an individual reality by the choice of words, that each moment in our life could happen differently, could be reported differently and by that could be understood differently. That is why each of us lives in stories which he tells all by himself, he himself gives life to. So he himself makes his own reality of life.

Arranging these bits and pieces is the craft of the poet. It is him to enter (im)possible and (im)probable worlds in order to offer his readers experiences which make the reader grow mature. The reader may as well take some support from them in the run of his own monstrous and intransparent story. It is by the archways of various narrations that the reader finally becomes able to slip into strange worlds, to indentify with different realities and to collect experiences which could be of great help to him in his own life, in his own story.

Exactly these experiences and their multiple effects are shown in the Delphic Games of the Modern Era. The Games, which formerly were held to the honour of Apollo, have become a place of encounter of artists today. By that they revitalise the tradition of finding exchange in competitions of this artistic kind. This exchange leads to the understanding of different civilisations and realities, i. e. different stories of life, to step on to a better understanding of your own position in the world, of your own story.

Across cultural barriers language is now again celebrated to be the Prometheic Art, which actually creates reality – the reality of the story (and the stories) of our life.

Yannick Dreßen, Author and DaF-Teacher, Cologne


translation by
Siegfried M. Lange
Minute Taker, IDC, Berlin