Download E-books Useful Fictions: Evolution, Anxiety, and the Origins of Literature (Frontiers of Narrative) PDF

By Michael Austin

"We inform ourselves tales so one can live," Joan Didion saw in The White Album. Why is that this? Michael Austin asks, in Useful Fictions. Why, particularly, are humans, whose very survival depends upon acquiring precise details, so interested in fictional narratives? in any case, almost each human tradition reveres a few kind of storytelling. may possibly there be an evolutionary cause of our species' desire for stories?
Drawing on evolutionary biology, anthropology, narrative idea, cognitive psychology, online game concept, and evolutionary aesthetics, Austin develops the idea that of a "useful fiction," an easy narrative that serves an adaptive functionality unrelated to its actual accuracy. In his paintings we see how those invaluable fictions play a key function in neutralizing the overpowering nervousness that people can adventure as their minds assemble and procedure info. Rudimentary narratives built for this objective, Austin indicates, supplied a cognitive scaffold that would became the foundation for our well-documented love of fictional tales. Written in transparent, jargon-free prose and applying ample literary examples--from the Bible to One Thousand and One Arabian Nights and Don Quixote to No Exit--Austin's paintings bargains a brand new means of realizing the connection among fiction and evolutionary processes--and, maybe, the very origins of literature. Named a good educational name for 2011 through selection Magazine.

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