Lecture #1.docx

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28 Jan 2013
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January 10, 2013
Lecture #1
Stories are found in lots of places beside books:
Film
Pictures (art, photography)
History and politics
News (including gossip)
Psychology (eg. story can heal the psyche)
Games
Browser History (see YouTube video “Parisian Love”)
The example of timeline of human evolution
o Looks linear and perfect it’s nice to think that we have connectivity over time
o However, in evolutionary biology, we know that our evolution is NOT linear at all
(there are holes, etc.)
Psychology
Freud believed that the truth of the story doesn’t matter, as long as the patient
understands himself in that narrative
Reliability and truth Do they matter? Does the story supersede the facts?
Why do we tell stories?
Narrative is the principal way in which our species organizes its understanding of time
Both memory and language appear to be intrinsically connected to narrative
o “Deep wiring”
How we make sense of things
How we should read English Lit books
Enjoy it!
Or at least focus on it. Remember, it’s not just the story that we want it’s how that
story is told
o Don’t focus on the summary; focus on HOW it happens
o We’ve all read the same story – don’t just give a summary, creatively tell how
the story happened
Engage with it think about your own reactions (good, bad, or otherwise)
Re-read
Interact with the text
Middlemarch
Important theme: Webs, and getting caught
Insiders vs. outsiders
o By the end of the novel, you should be a transformed reader!
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