The Storytelling Animal: How Stories Make Us Human pdf epub –

The book is a tool into the concept of storytellingI enjoy the second part where at the book gets technical and gives point of reflection Don t be so discourage by the first part.I would recommend it to whom is interested in a critical analysis of the role of story in our lives Gottschall presents story as central to human life We are Homo Fictus, he says.The first few chapters look at children s play, fiction, and dreams, and conclude that an essential function of story is to prepare us for life s inevitable difficulties by running us through thousands upon thousands of trouble based scenarios.The next few chapters reveal story s centrality in daily life as meta social narrative as personal identity narrative and, as moral compass and, Gottschall demonstrates how fictions worm deep inside our minds, parasite like, and exert a vast influence on our daily behavior Hitler, for example, is shown to have been profoundly guided by Wagner s opera Rienzi.The book concludes by considering story s future, showing how fiction is encroaching and upon the territory of reality, and how we may soon be saturated in virtual worlds of illusion than we already are, if this is possible.I recommend the book wholeheartedly to anyone interested in story however, it left me wanting depth and comprehensiveness It feels like a series of charming magazine articles than a coherent work attempting to deeply master and illuminate its subject.The book nicely conforms to the mold of popular contemporary non fiction fast paced and peppered with anecdotes and soft social science research provocative, but it doesn t make you think too hard this can be a good thing, depending on what you re looking for.There was room here, with a little patience and a little less attention to commercialism, for a stellar, substantial book The Storytelling Animal fails to provide definitive statements or true revelations, but it never fails to provoke and entertain. This is a fascinating book presenting important findings and theories on stories as a critical dimension of human evolutiont This core idea is well reflected in the following passages In recent decades, roughly corresponding with the rise of TV, psychology has begun a serious study of story s effects on the human mind 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 p 148 and Humans are creatures of Neverland Neverland is our evolutionary niche, our special habitat p 177 But, while recognizing some dangers, the book is too optimistic on the impacts of storytelling on humanity Thus, the book does not confront the negative effects of amusement industry, advertisement fables and political marketing stories Its most serious error assumes morality enhancing effects of stories, as if there exists an universal and timeless human morality reinforced by them The author mentions violence caused by conflicting religious beliefs, but then forgets all about it when making statements claiming that as with sacred myths, ordinary stories from TV shows to fairy tales steep us all in the same powerful norms and values p 134 Thus the book ignores the pluralism of values which contradict each other If the author had taken into account Nazi stories and movies he would not make a grievous error ignoring a fundamental feature of humanity, namely self righteous highly moral persons and collectives clinging fanatically to different stories producing a sense of moral duty to kill non believers, inferior races, exploiters and so on making history into what Hegel called a slaughterhouse and quite likely when driven with fitting stories and equipped with increasingly effective tools of mass killing, endangering the future of the human species Related is the author s statement that fiction, by constantly marinating our brains in the theme of poetic justice, may be partly responsible for the overly optimistic sense that the world is, on the whole, a just place And yet the fact that we take this lesson to heart may be an important part of what makes human societies work p 135.True, the human species continues to exist, though its future is not assured And most humans are at present materially better off than ever before But the masses of India, Africa, large parts of South America and hardly think that global society works well and lack of coping with climate change throws even doubts on the working of human society as a whole Therefore, much of the story telling giving a good feeling to parts of humanity may be a toxic tranquillizer.Thus, besides its many merits, the book suffers from what I call the Better Angels Mirage A critical stance on the impacts of stories would have made this book even better.Professor Yehezkel DrorThe Hebrew University of Jerusalem I must say I m genuinely confused by folks who gave this book fewer than four stars Not sure what they were expecting As a writer, I came away from the read feeling like a super hero, as my friend and fellow author M.L Welker described it Writing is an extremely isolating experience fraught with self doubt and discouragement Gottschall s book is a reminder that what we do is important this thought, that as writers we have the opportunity to change the world one story at a time, is inspiring and invaluable.Beyond all that heady stuff, Gottschall s work is meticulously researched, yet he delivers it with a breezy, anecdote riddled style Love it GREAT book The book makes a compelling case for the power of story and contributed to my own understanding There were many important points I had not considered before, such as the way we continue to tell stories in our sleep in the form of dreams Wow His discussion of storytelling in religion and culture was not necessarily new, but he provided depth to my understanding Another example was the way children play in the form of story.I started with the audio book then also bought the ebook so I could go through it again to retain the insights I will be coming back to reference it, and have already done so.That said, I am only giving it 4 stars instead of 5 because wanted to love the actual reading of it than I did I found it took me longer to get through than some nonfiction books that I cannot put down It is hard to say why exactly, but one reason I think might have to do with the way Gottschall uses story techniques to lead the reader down a path and then takes an unexpected turn In doing so, he is effective at making a point Still, as a reader, we trust the author and if he takes us somewhere we did not want to go or if we feel tricked, some of the love is lost In fairness, the fact that story can so easily manipulate people is one of the major themes of the book, and he acknowledges and apologizes for doing it I hesitate to be critical in any way because it was thoroughly researched, solidly written and fascinating. A NYTimes Editor S ChoiceA Los Angeles Times Book Prizes FinalistA Jaunty, Insightful New Book That Draws From Disparate Corners Of History And Science To Celebrate Our Compulsion To Storify Everything Around UsNew 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 Lifes Complex Social Problemsjust 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 InstinctEdward O WilsonCharms With Anecdotes And Examples We Have Not Left Nor Should We Ever Leave NeverlandCleveland Plain Dealer