Pace 12 Hali PaceBanashEnglish 50012/15/2017 Annotated Bibliography Abbott, H. Porter. “Defining Narrative.” The Cambridge Introduction to Narrative, Second ed., ?Cambridge University Press, 2019, pp. 13–27. H Porter Abbott’s book, The CambridgeIntroduction to Narrative presents readers with a vast variety of introductory knowledge of the ways in which narratives function. It works to explore the ways in which narratives work, and the ways in which they function in the world. Abbott moves to explore the ways in which narratives function both within text and the lives of people within societies. Since the book covers so much ground, I will focus this summary on the second chapter. The second chapter of Abbot’s book “Defining a Narrative,” works to explain to readers what a narrative is. Abbot writes that “simply put, narrative is the representation of an event or a series of events” (Abbott, 13). Abbott then explains that an event is in a way an action, that there cannot be a narrative without an action. Abbot explains this difference by showing readers a sentence that is descriptive, and comparing it to a sentence that has an action taking place. This shows readers that there is a big difference between describing what is happening and narrating. Abbott explains that there are many scholars that would disagree with this for a number of reasons. Some scholars believe that there needs to be more than one consecutive event for it to be a narration. While other scholars argue that the events that take place must at least be casually related. Abbott tells readers that there are two ways of defining narratives, the one he plans to use is what he calls “compact and definable” (Abbott 14). Abbott believes that this way of looking at narratives is useful in that it is consistent and still allows room for other definitions to be recognized. While the other way of defining narratives Abbott considers to be, “loose and generally recognizable” (Abbott, 14). Abbott believes this way of defining narratives allows for the inclusion of elements that cannot be considered narrative. In next section title, “Story and Narrative Discourse,” Abbott explains the ways in which narratives are different from not narratives. About explains that with a non-narrative like an essay, things can’t often be moved around, and the ways in which things are displayed becomes rather important. On the other hand, when looking at what Abbott calls the, “narrative discourse” (Abbott, 16) readers are shown that many changes can be made two wording and structure while still producing the same results. It is at this point that Abbott warns readers that there is a difference between narrative discourse and story. While narrative usually rely on story and narrative discourse, story is a sequence of events while narrative discourse also focusses on the ways in which the narrative is represented. Abbott then argues that even in science there are no true stories. Stories are always constructed in a way that leaves them up to interoperation. Since the world is not completely transparent and is in fact very complicated, no story can possible be a hundred percent “true.” The last subject that Abbott covers in this chapter is what he refers to as “narrativity” (Abbott, 24). For Abbott narrativity is the “feeling that now we are reading a story” (Abbott, 25). Abbott believes that simply adding a word like “brooding” to his example adds to the narrativity or the sentences. Abbott explains that there are many explanations for this, and there are many arguments as to why this may be. Overall this chapter of the book works to define narrative. While the actual definition of narrative seems to be heavily debated Abbott believes his to be the most versatile. In this chapter Abbott explains that narrative is the “representation of an event” It is not simply the telling of a story. Levi-Strauss, Claude. Myth and Meaning. Routledge, 1999.In Claude Levi-Strauss’ novel Myth and Meaning, Levi-Strauss tells readers about the different aspects of myths and their meanings. The book is dived into five short sections. The first section is the “Meeting of Myth and Science,” where Levi-Strauss tells readers how science relates to myths in the anthropological sense. The second section, “Primitive’ Thinking and the Civilized Mind” tells readers Levi-Strauss’ beliefs on what many called ‘primitive’ ways of thinking. He spends this chapter attempting to debunk the idea of that people consider to be primitive. Levi-Strauss explains that through their mythology people in these societies actually create civilized order and meaning. The third section is titled “Harelip’s and Twins: The Splitting of a Myth.” This section tells readers of the ways in which certain aspects (namely things like being a twin and having a cleft pallet) function symbolically within mythology. Levi- Strauss believes twins and people with pallets are demonized by certain cultures because of their representation in that cultures myth. Levi-Strauss tells readers that, “in order to solve the problem, we have, as sometime happens, to jump from South America to North America, because it will be a North American Myth which will give us clues to the South American one” (Levi-Strauss 26). He says this is because it is unrealistic to think that cultures that communicate with each other will not obtain some type of shared mythology. With this way of thing Levi-Strauss is able to come to a conclusion about why twins and those with cleft palates appeared to be demonized within their societies. If a cultures myths demonize a group of individuals, it is likely that the culture will then have negative connotations of that particular group. The fourth section is titled When the Myth Becomes History. In this section Levi-Strauss considers the how myths functions anthropologically and how they are gathered historically. Levi-Strauss explains that, he is not far from believing that, in our own societies, history has replaced mythology and fulfills the same function, that for societies without writing and without archives the aim of mythology is to ensure that as closely as possible- complete closeness is obviously impossible-the future will remain faithful to the present and the past (Levi-Strauss 43)This shows Levi-Strauss’s readers that what we currently call history has replaced what we call mythology. Yet they both function the same way. Levi-Strauss ends this section by telling readers that, “a gap in our mind… between mythology and history can probably be breached by studying histories which are conceived as not at all separated from but as a continuation of mythology,” (Levi-Strauss, 43). Levi-Strauss believed we can bridge the mental gap people possess when examining myths and history. To do this all readers need to do is think of history as a continuation of mythology. The last section of the book Levi-Strauss calls Myth and Music. This section focuses on the ways in which music and myths are similar. This book examines mythology in multiple contexts. It examines the anthropological aspects and how myths function as part of culture. It examines different aspects of myth and how they function symbolically. And it examines myths and it parallels in music. For Levi-Strauss myths aren’t something that can be read the same way one read a novel. Levi-Strauss says that, “we have to read a myth more or less as we would a read an orchestral score. Not stave after stave, but understanding that we should apprehend the whole page…” (Levi-Strauss, 45). In this Levi-Strauss is telling readers that myths are meant to be read and examined in groups and pieces. Overall throughout his novel Levi-Strauss shows readers that he believes that rather than looking at the overall meaning of a text his focus relies more on the function of individual parts of a whole. how different elements within mythology function symbolically. Levi-Strauss, Claude. “The Structural Study of Myths.” Structural Anthropology, PenguinBooks, 1986, pp. 206–231. In Claude Levi-Strauss’ book titled, Structural Anthropology, there is a chapter titled, “The Structural Study of Myths.” This chapter functions to show readers Levi-Strauss’ structural model that he uses in order to examine myths. In this he provides a type of “guide” readers can use when analyzing myths. To start Levi- Strauss tells readers that there is contradiction that exist within how myths are thought about. Since myths do not stay confined to the rules of reality, they seem to lack any true purpose. It would appear when looking at myths in this particular light that they are nothing more than their face value. So Levi-Strauss proposes the question, “if the content of a myth is contingent, how are we going to explain the fact that myths themselves are so similar?” (Levi-Strauss 208). For Levi-Strauss, there is a way in which to study myths structurally without abiding by this inherent contradiction. Levi-Strauss believes that while myths may vary in their independent narrative elements, the structure of these myths can be examined. It does not matter for Levi-Strauss rather or not the myths come from different cultures of from different historical time periods, they would still have the same overall underlying structure. To be able to argue this point Levi-Strauss first argues that myth is its own language. Since a myth can function outside of the language in which it was written, it in a way becomes its own language. Levi-Strauss explains that this is true because myths are able to maintain their intended function even if they are not translated properly. Levi-Strauss labels these structural elements “mythemes.” Levi-Strauss then explains that mythemes can be grouped together in order to to form the underlying structure of a myth. Levi-Strauss then explains how one can analyze myths using these mythemes. The chart is meant to map out the relations between Levi-Strauss’ mythemes. This chart shows the ways in which myths are related structurally. Levi-Strauss tell readers that you must dead diachronically and synchronically to truly be able to examine the narrative elements of a myth. To show this to readers Levi-Strauss provides an example. The example that Levi-Strauss uses is the myth of Oedipus. In this Levi-Strauss is able to show his readers the structural methodology that he uses to study myths. Each column of the chart demonstrates variations present within each of the themes. The development of the plot is shown by the relations between these existing columns. Levi-Strauss picks mythemes that are present within the text and them shows contradictory was in which these mythemes are represented. He comes to the conclusion when examining his mytheme about relationships with family that the Oedipus myth has contradictory examples. This contradiction for Levi-Strauss reveals a central issue. If this contradiction is found within all cultures mythologies then it is likely that it is an issue for all cultures. This led Levi-Strauss to question what was the “true” version of a myth. He wanted to know which myth was the original. In doing this he came to the conclusion that there is no original version of a myth. That all myths and all versions of these myths are expectable to study. Levi-Strauss then emphasizes the importance of studying these myths together in order to come to conclusions about society as a whole. Levi-Strauss concludes this chapter by explain to readers that the contradictions found in mythology function to resolve the contradicting issues within cultures. He ends by telling readers that, “In mythology, as in linguistics, formal analysis immediately raises the question of meaning” (241). This reminds readers that the ways in which myths function directly correlates to questions of meaning within society. Lincoln, Bruce. “Myth.” “Discourse and the Construction of Society: Comparative Studies of Myth, Ritual, and Classification”, Oxford University Press, 1989, pp. 15–50. Bruce Lincoln’s novel titled, Discourse and the Construction of Society: Comparative Studies of Myth, Ritual, and Classification, focuses on the ways in which myth, ritual, and classification function within society. In his book, Lincoln explains to readers the many ways in which myth, ritual, and classification can in some instances create cohesion in a society. Pulling societies together using shared belief systems. Lincoln explains that myth, ritual, and classification can also aid in the deterioration of society. Differences eat away at societal cohesion and can cause a society to crumble. It is also possible that a society might crumble because of a shift in the majorities belief systems. Just how shared belief systems can create cohesion within a society, it can also cause a society to move towards rebuilding. The creation of a new society to meet the current set of beliefs and values of a culture. Lincoln’s four-part novel works to explain the ways in which society functions through the use of myth, ritual, and classification. It does so by looking at things such as, myth and sentiment, and how they aid in the construction of social forms. For this summary I will focus on the first section of Lincoln’s work relating to mythology. This section simply titled “Myth” covers a large variety of ideas relating to myths and the ways in which they function within certain parts of society. In his first part of this section “Myth, Sentiment, and the construction of social forms,” Lincoln gives insight into the ways in which myths effect culture. Lincoln explains to readers that there a many ways in which myth could potentially chance existing social structures. In this Lincoln tells readers that, “Florence eclipsed Siena in battle… and in Siena to this day, any reference of Florence- a mention of the cities soccer team, for instance- is enough to prompt an allusion to the batter or even a richly embroidered account of the cowardice and humiliation…” (Lincoln 22). This shows readers how engrained things like history and culture are within society. This example shows readers how even the mention of something relating to a past event can cause people to revisit old feelings. This allows readers to explore the ways in which myths (much like history) effect culture. In the second part of this section Lincoln tells readers how myths relate to politics. For Lincoln, myths can be used as a way to create politically structures. Society is built by the values and ideas presented in our cultures mythology. In this section he uses the myths used by the religion of Islam and a way to show how religion has structured their society. This gives reader the impression that all societies and institutions have been built on myths. That myths are the underlying foundation to all civilization. For Lincoln this really highlights the importance of myths within social structures. The final part of this section of myths is titled, “Competing Uses of the Future in the Present.” This section examines the ways in which myths that take place in the past function compared to myths that take place in the future. Lincoln tells reader that “there are other myths, and extremely important ones, that are set not in the past but in the future, a mythic future that – like the mythic past- enters discourse in the present always and only for reasons of the present.” In this we learn that there are myths that do not detail past events, but focus on events in a mythic future. These myths allowed past cultures an future to either strive for or against, while allowing modern cultures to use them as a tool to compare how things are, with how things could have been. This also allows modern cultures the ability to reflect on the ideals and values of cultures from the past. Olson, Alan M., and Bernard J. Lonergan. “Reality, Myth, Symbol.” Myth, Symbol, and Reality, University of Notre Dame Press, 1980, pp. 31–37. In Myth, Symbol, and Reality edited by Alan M. Olson, Olson has gathered a collection of different chapter by different authors all relating to myth, symbolism, and reality. The major focus of the works being on the study of myths. For this summery I would like to focus on the article by Bernard J.F. Lonergan S.J. that is titles “Reality, Myth, Symbol” (31). This chapter can be found in part one of Olson’s book. In the Lonergan offers up a number of opinions and questions relating to myths, symbols, and reality. Lonergan spends a significant amount of time in his chapter focusing on the ways in which reality functions. For Lonergan the first thing he finds issue with is the problems with “reality.” For Lonergan there are many problems with what we consider reality. These problems stem from the fact that in Lonergan’s eyes we have technically already lived in two very different realities. For Lonergan these realities are the, “world of immediacy of the infant,” and the, “world of the adult, mediated by meaning and motivated by values. The transition from one stage to the other is a long process involving succession of stages.” This tells readers that even our fundamental understandings of reality are skewed. Because even the reality that we call “life” actually functions as more than one separate reality. By adulthood we’ve already lived in multiple realities. This for Lonergan suggest that reality is in fact a concept that people cannot fully grasp. For Lonergan this proposes more questions than it answers. In the second section of Lonergan’s piece titled, “The Place of Myth and Symbol,” Lonergan tells readers that myths do not function clearly with reality. He tells readers that, there are true stories that real the life that we are really leading, and there are cover stories that make out our lives to be somewhat better that they are in reality. So stories today and myths of yesterday suffer from a basic ambiguity. They can bring to light what is truly human. But they can also propagate an apparently naïve view of human aspirations and human destiny (Lonergan, 33)In other words, stories and myths can reflect reality, or they can reflect a false reality concocted by human desire. He claims that because of this stories and myths suffer a form of ambiguity. He believes that because of this stories and myths can lack meaning in the context of reality. From this arises many questions for Lonergan about reality and how reality is represented. If myths do not function to represent reality, what is there true function? Lonergan does not answer these questions in this work. Though Lonergan admits that one can on truly mature completely is through full knowledge of our world. And since we as humans do not possess full knowledge we rely on stories to give us symbols that allow us more insight into the world in which we live. In the last section of Lonergan’s chapter he tells readers that in his past section he’s merely been outlining his views on myths, reality, and symbols. He admits that his personal views are not proof. Lonergan then offers a story that allows readers to ascertain how he arrived at these views. In this section Lonergan gives an extensive overview of his studies in understanding the ways in which reality, myth, and symbol function. He uses a number of different scholar’s view on the world to justify his overall opinions on myth, symbol and reality. While Lonergan offers a multitude of opinions throughout his chapter he never comes to a clear conclusion. The piece simply ends by suggestion people read Robert Doran’s “current” writing (Lonergan 37).Righter, William. Myth and Literature. Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1975.William Righter’s short novel, Myth and Literature gives many insights into what myths are, how they function, and the ways in which they are spoken about outside of literature. Overall Righter’s main focus is on the ways in which mythology effects society and culture. The book functions using three distinct sections to separate the authors ideas on myths. The first section, “the Consciousness of Myth,” focuses on defining myths. In this Righter tells readers a quote by Warren and Wellek which reads, “…myth is narrative irrational… and come to mean any anonymously composed story telling of origins and destines…” (5). He uses this quote as his way of defining myths. This tells readers that myth is a subset of narrative that focuses more on tales of origins or destinies. This sets them apart from things such as folktales. After defining myths, he then moves forward with his piece and begins to explain the different ways in which myths function. Righter explains that myths allow cultures to teach their young why the world is the way it is. It also allows them to examine why cultures are the way they are. It also helps to explain to their young why certain cultural normality’s take place. Myths for Righter explain all things here and now. By looking at the values and ideas but place in a cultures mythology one can have good insight into the way a culture is now. Righter uses myths as a way of explaining societal movement throughout history. In the second section titled, “Myth and Interpretation.” Righter gives insights into the different way in which myths can be interoperated by scholars. In this he calls on the knowledge of scholars such as Frye and Levi-Strauss in order to show reader that there are a considerable number of ways in which a scholar could choose to interpret myths. Righter admits that this is a problem. He tells readers that the best way to view these problems is to, “through a series of cases in which myth is used as an interpretative device” (Righter, 45). He then takes examples from a number of different scholars and shows the ways in which interpretation can differ. The last section Righter choses to write on is the, “The Myth of the Myth.” In this Righter explains a few different things about myths. He first explains that fiction is a necessity. Societies need myths because of people’s desire for knowledge. Myths provide people with an explanation for the things they cannot comprehend. Righter explains to readers that there is a correlation between myths, stories, and fiction. Stories can be true or false, while fiction cannot be true. The overlap between the three comes from looking at how they compare to myths. While some myths may have pieces of truth imbedded in them, they are usually still considered works of fiction. He does note that there is a difference between fiction and myth, and that myth can mean that the work is not consciously considered to be fictive. A myth can be fictitious and a cultural subset can still understand it to be true. This is true of many different religious myths and the cultures that consider them to be factual. So while myths are wildly considered to by works of fiction, there are people who read these myths and consider them to be fact. It is in this section that he explains that his book simply isn’t about myths. It is about the ways in which myths are understood. How myths are constantly being understood in different ways. That even the meaning of myth is constantly being re-interoperated.
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