Old Tales and New Truths: Charting the Bright-Shadow World

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SUNY Press, Feb 6, 1992 - Biography & Autobiography - 267 pages
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This guidebook to the Bright-Shadow World develops three closely related issues. The first is the position that fairytales and folktales are of value today because they encourage the growth of capabilities important in our postmodern world. Each of us, like the fairytale hero, sets out on his/her own quests, seeks his/her own identity, faces his/her own dilemmas with few resources but wit, imagination, and a certain power of improvisation. King develops the implications of this situation for such common fairytale problems as learning to read the world productively; navigating various kinds of “edges;” exploiting power sources; developing highly personal moral commitments; problem solving; and data collecting.

The second concern of this book is with the development of a system for analyzing narrative structure. The formula offered here involves an examination of interactions among actors, physical settings, lines of force, and power sources as a narrative moves toward its denouement. This system facilitates the classifying, and contrasting of narratives, and illuminates the structure of both narrative and lived experience.

Finally, this book is concerned with myth-making or world-making processes. It is shown that traditional narrative actually points to and delineates another dimension of existence (here called “the Bright-Shadow World”) that operates by rules of its own and may be penetrated by individuals from our ordinary world. Inferences about the Bright-Shadow World drawn from traditional narrative are described and evaluated.
 

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Contents

Hearing Tales The Behavioral Dimension
1
A Way of Proceeding
11
On Reading the World Jus Settin n Rockin
16
Some Structural Possibilities
27
Edges
45
The Ambiguities of Enchantment
63
Power
78
Moral Ties
94
The Experience of Knowing
138
Some Typical BrightShadowWorld Problems
161
Nimble Ridinga Question of Style
183
The World of the Bright Shadow
199
Analysis of the Structure of Situations
211
Assessment of LifeEnhancing Themes
219
Notes
223
Index
257

Personal Identity
112

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About the author (1992)

James Roy King is a retired Professor of English at Wittenberg University.

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