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, but why? 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?
About The Author:
Jonathan Gottschall teaches English at Washington & Jefferson College and is one of the leading figures in the movement toward a more scientific humanities. The author or editor of five scholarly books, Gottschall’s work has been prominently featured in The New York Times Magazine , Scientific American , and The Chronicle of Higher Education , among others. Steven Pinker has called him "a brilliant young scholar" whose writing is "unfailingly clear, witty, and exciting."
|Book:||The Storytelling Animal: How Stories Make Us Human|
|Publisher:||Houghton Mifflin Harcourt|
|Number of Pages:||272|
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