great stories


to be truthful is to not restrict something to the dimensions of truth.  

stories are complicated. we read them write them determine them simultaneously. almost as absurd as having a brain while using a brain to talk about what a brain is.

a great story doesn’t provide everything that’s desired. desire is the most surreal thing so why try to restrain it within the limitations of the real. reject coherence because any calcification is ultimately a betrayal.

'release', collage by Marina Manoukian. first published in    Harbor Review Issue #1   .

'release', collage by Marina Manoukian. first published in Harbor Review Issue #1.

a great story is impossible. a great story is incomprehensible. cocooning from butterfly to butterfly because nothing that persists is ever really explicable. a great story laughs at the passion for truth [1] realizing that truthfulness lies in stories not greatness. a willful engagement rather than the need to determine it as such. the smallest of moments with the potential to graze a lifetime of what’s ineffable.

it’s possible to misread a story. every story is a loss. but a great story reminds you that there’s so much outside of stories. a great story returns not least to make it clear that it’s never certain it’ll come again [2]. a great story is a secret without being a kept one.

a great story asks you to ponder forever.

a great story is not necessarily a final story. great stories aren’t everything. stories are just a piece of a volume of time and experience. parts of a plurality that to partition would be pointless.

nothing depends on a great story. a great story depends on nothing.

[1] Translated from the Italian by William Weaver, The Name of the Rose, by Umberto Eco

[2] Translated from the Dutch by Richard Huijing, The Laws, by Connie Palmen


marina manoukian is a reader and writer and collage artist. she currently resides in berlin while she studies and works. she likes honey and she loves bees. you can find more of her words and images at or twitter/instagram at @crimeiscommon.