Hartmann [Abstract]

“Just because they’re lies doesn’t mean they’re not true”: Learning and transmission of lies among storytellers [Full text]

Luciana Hartmann [1]

Abstract: In diverse rural communities located near the borders separating Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay, traditional storytellers known as contadores de causos use lying as a strategy for their performances. Their legitimacy as storytellers greatly depends on the way they utilize this strategy. This article discusses the processes of learning, transmission and reception of lies in this region, where “telling true stories” and “telling lies” are often considered synonymous. During several years of ethnographic observation, it was noted that lying is performatized as a sort of provocation, establishing a game between storytellers and their audiences. Lying must thus be understood from the perspective of situated learning, as the result of a collaborative process that emerges from specific situations and contexts. To better understand the ambiguities, doubts, ironies and games expressed through lying, it is necessary to participate in the storytellers’ “community of practice,” allowing us to learn to listen, tell stories and perhaps even to lie…

Keywords: Lie, storytellers, oral narratives, oral performance, learning

[1] University of Brasília, Brazil, uhartm@yahoo.com.br