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Old 19 August 2011, 09:48 AM
Jaime Vargas Jaime Vargas is offline
Join Date: 12 September 2001
Location: Sevilla, Spain
Posts: 6,952
Default "Pulpit glurge and ghost stories" at the Slacktivist

Chow it if necessary.

Fred draws a fascinating parallel between glurge and ghost stories: the "local" and "real" details serve to further engage the listener.

A good storyteller telling a good ghost story will embellish it with just the right details to give it a sense of vérité and with just enough local particulars to make the tale seem chillingly close-at-hand rather than safely distant. Such embellishment isn’t usually something done wholly consciously by the storyteller. It’s just an organic part of the process that a good storyteller does almost instinctively. The local details and the grainy bits added for the sake of realism just click into place as the story unfolds. The storyteller is inventing falsehoods to spice up the ghost story and representing those inventions as facts, but the storyteller is not lying.

These inventions and embellishments aren’t added to deceive, they are just part of the unspoken bargain agreed to in the telling and hearing of ghost stories. In order to achieve the desired effect of making listeners pleasantly frightened, the storyteller invites them to accept a set of factual assertions that neither the teller nor the listeners really regard as true. The storyteller is not deceiving and the listeners are not deceived — they simply both realize that the emotional impact and enjoyment of a ghost story depends on the suspension of disbelief.
But as Fred claims, with pulpit glurge the listener is not really part of such a convention. The listener is believing, which means the teller *is* deceiving the congregation.

A very good read, and I agree wholeheartedly.
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