Diane Wolkstein died last month. An accomplished storyteller with a gift for poetry, Wolkstein collaborated with Samuel Noah Kramer to produce a translation of the Sumerian myths of Inanna that is deservedly the standard.
Diane discovered the power of stories as a young woman and devoted her life to sharing them. Her deep belief in the relevance of mythology, and her willingness to immerse herself in surviving story telling cultures and learn from traditonal and indigienous tellers, has been a source of inspiration for me. I love good story telling of all sorts. But in the context of our solipsistic "look-at-me" culture, I especially appreciate tellers who use the myths and tales from the canon of our collective past, to connect us to our shared humanity and reinforce the truth of our shared future.
I had hoped to see her performance of the Chinese epic, Monkey King: Journey to the West. Perhaps someone will make a video recording available. If anyone knows of one, please tell me!
For more information about Diane visit dianewolkstein.com (which is also the source for the image of Wolkstein preforming the Monkey King). Thank you Diane Wolkenstein, for your exuberance and insight.