Anastasia of Martinique French West Indies 046

Martinique Costumes

In our time there are few storywriters who capture the magic of storytelling. Literary writing and oral telling are two very difference experiences. Patrick Chamoiseau is francophone writer from the Caribbean island of Martinique who elegantly writes stories with the voice of an oral teller. He is a prolific novelist, but he has also written a very fine collection of tales that he remembers — and recreates — from his childhood.  The book is translated into English as Creole Folktales.


Patrick Chamoiseau

Here is my recital — my oral interpretation — of his text.  It is my homage to Patrick Chamoiseau, and I share it with you to illustrate the process of moving back and forth between the written and the spoken word.  My narration is almost verbatim, with very few small changes to help the spoken English flow a bit more easily.  Enjoy listening.

Listen to the Story

Here is my first re-telling of the story from memory without a written text.  For me it is the process of taking a folktale that has been adapted into a literary tale, and returning it back into an oral telling. (This recording is “in the raw”.  I have not edited anything… blips, mistakes, etc.)

Enjoy both tales.  Tell me what you think? How do you transform a literary tale into one that you can tell orally without memorizing the text?

Listen to the Story

Your comments are welcome!