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January 10, 2013
Stories are found in lots of places beside books:
Pictures (art, photography)
History and politics
News (including gossip)
Psychology (eg. story can heal the psyche)
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.)
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
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)
Interact with the text
Important theme: Webs, and getting caught
Insiders vs. outsiders
o By the end of the novel, you should be a transformed reader!