Storytelling Animal How Stories Make Us Human

ISBN-10: 0547391404
ISBN-13: 9780547391403
Edition: 2012
List price: $24.00
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Description: Humans live in landscapes of make believe: we spin fantasies, we devour novels, films, and plays—even our sporting events and criminal trials unfold as narratives. Yet the world of story has long remained an undiscovered and unmapped country. It’s  More...

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Book details

List price: $24.00
Copyright year: 2012
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company
Publication date: 4/10/2012
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 272
Size: 5.75" wide x 8.50" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.220
Language: English

Humans live in landscapes of make believe: we spin fantasies, we devour novels, films, and plays—even our sporting events and criminal trials unfold as narratives. Yet the world of story has long remained an undiscovered and unmapped country. It’s easy to say that humans are "wired" for story, butwhy? Jonathan Gottschall shows how explorers from the sciences and humanities are using new tools, new ways of thinking, to solve the riddle of fiction. In this delightful and original book, he offers the first unified theory of storytelling. Gottschall argues that stories are a way of rehearsing life’s complex problems (studies show that people who read fiction are more empathetic). He explores the deep pattern in children’s make-believe, and what that reveals about story’s prehistoric origins. He shows how a story was partly responsible for the Holocaust, how schizophrenia is an example of the story mind run amok, and how all successful fiction is inherently moral. In doing so, he answers a question central to our existence: What does it mean to be a storytelling animal?

Preface
The Witchery of Story
The Riddle of Fiction
Hell Is Story-Friendly
Night Story
The Mind Is a Storyteller
The Moral of the Story
Ink People Change the World
Life Stories
The Future of Story
Acknowledgments
Notes
Bibliography
Credits
Index

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