It’s called The One Great Story because it’s about the most substantial stories in your life as creative hero an heroine: your story about yourself, your business, your money, your self promotion, your time management, your happiness.
There’s always been a longing to gather the important stories in one place. Some of the appeal of a Bible or the collected works of a big name author is the sense that amidst all the chaos and disparate sources of knowledge, someone has taken the trouble to distill, to compress, to say what is essential. In a world overflowing with information, what we most need is curation. The One Great Story aims to be the curation of the best and most helpful ideas from the rich history of Italy in the area of creative life and work.
Ultimately, life is only 700,000 hours long so we have to make sure the ideas we need don’t get lost – or take too long to find.
The One Great Story redraws the sense of what a book is. Up to now, books have been the most ambitious way in which ideas are presented. But they have suffered from serious limitations: they’ve had only one author; they’ve usually been written over a relatively short period of time. And once they’ve been finished, they can’t be changed (even if the author gets a great new idea). They have also been largely restricted to words, images being too expensive and film impossible.
The One Great Story is being written by me, Peter de Kuster, as the story of many creative heroes and heroines from Italy of past and present who went before you. It keeps changing and evolving. A real Grand Tour. It is filled with images and films as well as texts. By floating online, it can grow a bit every day or so, as new things come along and it can be equally accessible all around the world, at any time, for free.
The danger of disorder is something i’ve thought a lot about. In an age when it’s no longer hard to get hold of a lot of information, the challenge becomes how to order it – so you can find it and use it when you need it. Traditionally, many non-fiction books in the humanities trace where ideas have come from (they’ll tell you the history of Classical Athens or the biographies of key figures in Enlightenment France etc.). In The One Great Story I place your needs as creative professional first. So it is structured according to the situations of your own life and work, which is where ideas get used and are necessary.
Just like a regular book, The One Great Story is divided into chapters: it’s my way of carving up reality and throwing the emphasis on what matters most. I invite you to navigate around all the parts. And use the extensive indexing of pieces to approach issues from different starting points.
I aim at a certain voice: calm, inspiring, reassuring, amusing, enriching – because few of us (including me) manage to be these things for very much of the time. I believe that one of the tasks of art is to be a repository of attitudes that are elusive, but much needed.
Normally we think of a book as something to be read continuously from beginning to end. When you finish, you tick it off your list. But here you can return: bits will have changed, been nuanced; it will have evolved and matured. I’d love you to read The One Great Story regularly, to keep checking in and to browse in unfamiliar sections.
This book is an offshoot of my love for Italy. It’s where you can find the ideas that I believe in, it’s The Grand Tour’s passion, brain and library – and it captures the attitudes you’ll find by going to my journeys and events in cities around the world.
BROUGHT TO YOU BY PETER DE KUSTER
The One Great Story is brought to you by Peter de Kuster – a journey through Italy to inspire creative professionals to make money doing what they love. I apply storytelling to the everyday creative life. You can find me and my journeys, stories, books, movies, music and much more online and you can meet me in cities in Italy.