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ON THE ORIGIN OF STORIES: Evolution, Cognition, and Fiction

ON THE ORIGIN OF STORIES: Evolution, Cognition, and Fiction

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"[Boyd's] highly intelligent, impressively learned and patiently elaborated theory of the origin of fiction and the other arts begins with the idea that art is cognitive play...Diffusion of Boyd's ideas might even, in our utilitarian and scientistic society, restore the prestige of the arts and humanities."
--William Deresiewicz, The Nation

"Like all the best stories, this one has a pleasing symmetry. It is a book in two parts, each illuminating the other. On one side stands evolutionary theory and its attempts to explain human nature. On the other is story itself, represented by two great works of fiction: Homer's Odyssey and Dr. Seuss's Horton Hears a Who!...[Boyd] has some novel and thought-provoking ideas, and his book covers an impressively wide terrain...What really matters, Boyd makes clear, is whether a story is worthy of our attention. On the Origin of Stories surely is.:
--Kate Douglas, New Scientist

"Fascinating...Elaborate hypotheses like this one are themselves a kind of story, and Boyd tells his on a grand scale. His central arguments are prefaced by a substantial reprise of basic evolutionary theory--very useful if you're unfamiliar with it--and followed by two case studies, of Homer's Odyssey and the tales of Dr. Seuss. It is expert, though highly idiosyncratic, literary criticism..."Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive," Wordsworth wrote of the first, intoxicating years of the French Revolution. Reading [a] path-breaking book like [this], one feels something similar."
--George Scialabba, Boston Globe
"[Boyd's] highly intelligent, impressively learned and patiently elaborated theory of the origin of fiction and the other arts begins with the idea that art is cognitive play...Diffusion of Boyd's ideas might even, in our utilitarian and scientistic society, restore the prestige of the arts and humanities."
--William Deresiewicz, The Nation

"Like all the best stories, this one has a pleasing symmetry. It is a book in two parts, each illuminating the other. On one side stands evolutionary theory and its attempts to explain human nature. On the other is story itself, represented by two great works of fiction: Homer's Odyssey and Dr. Seuss's Horton Hears a Who!...[Boyd] has some novel and thought-provoking ideas, and his book covers an impressively wide terrain...What really matters, Boyd makes clear, is whether a story is worthy of our attention. On the Origin of Stories surely is.:
--Kate Douglas, New Scientist

"Fascinating...Elaborate hypotheses like this one are themselves a kind of story, and Boyd tells his on a grand scale. His central arguments are prefaced by a substantial reprise of basic evolutionary theory--very useful if you're unfamiliar with it--and followed by two case studies, of Homer's Odyssey and the tales of Dr. Seuss. It is expert, though highly idiosyncratic, literary criticism..."Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive," Wordsworth wrote of the first, intoxicating years of the French Revolution. Reading [a] path-breaking book like [this], one feels something similar."
--George Scialabba, Boston Globe

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Published by: Harvard University Press on Jun 08, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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06/01/2014

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ontheoriginofstories
EVOLUTION, COGNITION, AND FICTION
Brian Boyd
The Belknap Press o Harvard University Press 
cambridge, massachusetts
london, england
2009
 
Copyright © 2009 by Brian BoydAll rights reservedPrinted in the United States o America
Library o Congress Cataloging-in-Publication DataBoyd, Brian, 1952-On the origin o stories : evolution, cognition, and ction /Brian Boyd.p. cm.Includes bibliographical reerences and index.ISBN 978-0-674-03357-3 (cloth : alk. paper)1. Fiction–History and criticism. 2. Fiction–Authorship.I. Title.PN3451.B68 2009809.3—dc22 2009007642

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