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Storytelling and the Sciences of Mind

MIT Press
Narrated by: Arthur Flavell
Length: 14 hrs and 36 mins
2.5 out of 5 stars (3 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

With Storytelling and the Sciences of Mind, David Herman proposes a cross-fertilization between the study of narrative and research on intelligent behavior. The book as a whole centers on two questions: How do people make sense of stories, and how do people use stories to make sense of the world? Examining narratives from different periods and across multiple media and genres, Herman shows how traditions of narrative research can help shape ways of formulating and addressing questions about intelligent activity, and vice versa.

Using case studies that range from Robert Louis Stevenson's Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde to sequences from The Incredible Hulk comics to narratives told in everyday interaction, Herman considers storytelling both as a target for interpretation and as a resource for making sense of experience itself. In doing so, he puts ideas from narrative scholarship into dialogue with such fields as psycholinguistics, philosophy of mind, and cognitive, social, and ecological psychology. After exploring ways in which interpreters of stories can use textual cues to build narrative worlds, or storyworlds, Herman investigates how this process of narrative worldmaking in turn supports efforts to understand - and engage with - the conduct of persons, among other aspects of lived experience.

Published by MIT Press.

"A must-read not only for specialists in narrative but for anyone interested in the mutual actions of 'worlding a story' and 'storying a world.'"(N. Katherine Hayles, Duke University)

"This ambitious and stimulating book deserves a wide readership." (Ageliki Nicolopoulou, Lehigh University)

"A masterful overview of recent pathbreaking innovations." (John Pier, University of Tours)

©2013 Massachusetts Institute of Technology (P)2018 Redwood Audiobooks

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Why so many big words?

I got this book among many others in my continued learning about storytelling and its connection to human nature. However, this book in particular is so heady it lost me. In other words, only the people who understand the jargon and the vocabulary of the writer will be able to follow his train of thought. That eliminates any layman from the equation as part of the audience. To me that’s just not good communication.

His “sense-making,” “worlding the story” here, and “storying the world” to us, as he puts it, fails to make the layman feel included in the conversation. It probably makes sense to the select few among his colleagues with his vocabulary, to them it’s probably a wonderful book. But for the first time in a topical discussion, I found that 90% of this went over my head due to its overly intellectual vocabulary.

Therefore, I couldn’t even finish the first chapter. That’s never happened to me before.

If the intent of this book was to only reach a select audience, it certainly has accomplish its goals in reaching a select few.

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Not What I Expected--At All

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

This is an academic paper masquerading as a book. Tedious and jargon-laced. Not at all useful.

Has Storytelling and the Sciences of Mind turned you off from other books in this genre?

No.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Storytelling and the Sciences of Mind?

He needs to read Steven Pinker, who makes complex subjects accessible.

Any additional comments?

A waste of a credit.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful