Jonathan Gottschall

The Storytelling Animal

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A NYTimes.com Editor's Choice A Los Angeles Times Book Prizes Finalist “A jaunty, insightful new book . . . [that] draws from disparate corners of history and science to celebrate our compulsion to storify everything around us.”—New York TimesHumans live in landscapes of make-believe. We spin fantasies. We devour novels, films, and plays. Even sporting events and criminal trials unfold as narratives. Yet the world of story has long remained an undiscovered and unmapped country. Now Jonathan Gottschall offers the first unified theory of storytelling. He argues that stories help us navigate life’s complex social problems—just as flight simulators prepare pilots for difficult situations. Storytelling has evolved, like other behaviors, to ensure our survival. Drawing on the latest research in neuroscience, psychology, and evolutionary biology, Gottschall tells us what it means to be a storytelling animal and explains how stories can change the world for the better. We know we are master shapers of story. The Storytelling Animal finally reveals how stories shape us.“This is a quite wonderful book. It grips the reader with both stories and stories about the telling of stories, then pulls it all together to explain why storytelling is a fundamental human instinct.”—Edward O. Wilson“Charms with anecdotes and examples . . . we have not left nor should we ever leave Neverland.”—Cleveland Plain Dealer
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    Alicia Reyesmembuat kutipan11 jam yang lalu
    When we read nonfiction, we read with our shields up. We are critical and skeptical. But when we are absorbed in a story, we drop our intellectual guard. We are moved emotionally, and this seems to leave us defenseless.
    Alicia Reyesmembuat kutipan12 jam yang lalu
    In recent decades, roughly corresponding with the rise of TV, psychology has begun a serious study of story’s effects on the human mind. Research results have been consistent and robust: fiction does mold our minds. Story—whether delivered through films, books, or video games—teaches us facts about the world; influences our moral logic; and marks us with fears, hopes, and anxieties that alter our behavior, perhaps even our personalities. Research shows that story is constantly nibbling and kneading us, shaping our minds without our knowledge or consent. The more deeply we are cast under story’s spell, the more potent its influence.
    Alicia Reyesmembuat kutipankemarin dulu
    Evidence that poetic justice is basic to the fiction impulse comes from children’s pretend play. According to David Elkind’s The Power of Play, children’s pretend play always has clear “moral overtones—the good guys versus the bad guys.”

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