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OUT of AFRICA … THE STORY of YOU…

Ralph Windle Posted by Ralph Windle.

Ralph Windle is the editor of The Poetry of Business Life, as well as the author of Boardroom Ballads and The Bottom Line, and co-editor (with William Keyser) of Public Enterprises in the EEC.


A little while ago I looked forward to the publication in South Africa of ‘The Halo and The Noose – The Power of Story Telling and Story Listening’ (www.

A little while ago I looked forward to the publication in South Africa of ‘The Halo and The Noose – The Power of Story Telling and Story Listening’ (www.haloandnoose.com ) by Dorian Haarhoff and Graham Williams. The good news is that the book is now out and available in both ‘print’ and ‘e-book’ versions by way of the dedicated website (below*).


This is a South African project, co-authored by Dorian Haarhoff - poet, mentor and cross-disciplinarian with an unusually deep and wide knowledge of live ‘story’ in many cultures; and Graham Williams - a training specialist from a psychology/economic background ( who contributed an early piece to this website on the arts/science gap.)
Over the year or so of its development, the authors were kind enough to show me the growing manuscript and eventually to ask me to write the ‘Afterword’ which I was honoured to do; for, although angled mainly towards their ‘business’ world, I quickly recognised the book’s wider relevancies to the Arts/Science interaction theme. It chimed closely with the philosopher AC Grayling’s words, then much echoing in my mind ….

‘throughout human history story-telling has been a central means of informing people about possibilities beyond their personal sphere, and inviting them to understand those possibilities better’. ( ‘The Heart of Things.’ Orion Books.2005)

For ‘story’, of course, is a prime source and conveyor of ‘metaphor’ which has emerged, from so much of our growing experience, as a prime catalyst of creative synthesis between art and science. I quote, in my ‘Arts/Science Encounters Review’ (below) Rachel Falconer’s words on Richard Holmes’ brilliant presentation of his ‘The Age of Wonder’ :
“Holmes proved, to me, the crucial point that in order to engage the layperson’s sense of the wonder of science, all one needs is a good story, engagingly told. The wonder is latent in the material, but it is the story that awakens our interest and interweaves this knowledge into the fabric of our lives and imaginations.”


‘The Halo and the Noose’ therefore supplies an important new link in the potential cross-disciplinary chain and promises a welcome fresh ally to our own preoccupations , with a very lively dialogue to come.
Meanwhile, this book proves its point on every page through the rich compulsion and diversity of the stories it relates; and its reminder that they are – in the end - inescapably about ourselves….
‘mutato nomine de te fabula narratur’, as we are reminded the Roman poet, Horace, said.    ‘Just change the name, and this story is about YOU!’

“Storytelling in Business”: http://www.haloandnoose.com.