The Story Is True: The Art and Meaning of Telling Stories

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September 2008



Explores the ways we use the stories that become a central part of our public and private lives. This title examines how stories narrate and bring meaning to our lives by describing and explaining how stories are made and used.


1. Telling Stories; 2. The Fate of Stories; 3. Wallace Stevens's Jar; 4. The True Story of Why Stephen Spender Quit the Spanish Civil War; 5. The Stories People Tell; 6. Acting in the Passive, or, Somebody Got Killed But Nobody Killed; Anybody; 7. Stories That Don't Make Sense; 8. The Real O. J. Story; 9. Bob Dylan and the Legend of 1965; 10. Silver Bullets; 11. Storytellers' Storytellers; 12. The Deceptive Anarchy of Let Us Now Praise Famous Men; 13. Words to Kill By; 14. The Storyteller I Looked for Every Time I Looked for Storytellers; 15. Farinata's Silence


"Jackson's goal is to deconstruct the stories, to determine what is true about them, why and how they work, how they differ from reality, and how and why they are central to our everyday experiences. Much of his commentary about the structure and rhetoric of stories isn't new, but writing with breakneck energy, he consistently entertains. ...Happily, Jackson's opinions, even those that annoy, make for good reading." Publishers Weekly "Jackson wants to know how...stories bind people together and what they mean to us. To that end, he offers a close reading of the making of a good story: its ownership, shape, focus, economy, truth, and ending...his book reads like a long tale filled with rich characters and many personal encounters...Jackson is at his most compelling, however, when he tackles 'public stories' that have acquired mythlike status...This fascinating book will cause readers to reassess old stories and to be wary of new ones. Highly recommended for academic libraries." Library Journal "Intriguing...If you want to know how O.J. Simpson was found innocent or why newspaper stories appear to make sense but don't, read this book." Virginia Quarterly Review "To use a cliche not often applied to academic prose, The Story Is True is a page-turner. The deeper you pursue Jackson's mosaic, the more the individual fragments start to cohere. The book concludes with a poignant meditation on loss and mortality that adds even more emotional weight to Jackson's theme. This is a book written for everyday readers--people who grew up pretending to be the Lone Ranger, people who got sucked into the O.J. Simpson trial, people who face life in a world haunted by 9/11 and the war that followed. It's a book for anyone who wants to know why, as Joan Didion famously put it, 'We tell ourselves stories in order to live.'" Buffalo Spree "Jackson's book has a lot of provocative intelligence. You cannot know as much as Bruce Jackson does and have thought so long and hard about the human need for narrative and the human uses of it (and have discussed it with so many exceptional people) without producing a book of some fascination and edification...A hugely stimulating...book." The Buffalo News "The way we tell the stories of our lives says a great deal about how we lend order and meaning to our existence. Bruce Jackson deftly and playfully demonstrates this concept in The Story Is True. Jackson himself has an undeniably interesting stock of autobiographical material...and how lucky for his reader. Each time he dips into his personal history, he emerges, with the aplomb of a seasoned storyteller, to offer up some tiny gem that he uses to refract and reflect his ideas about the nature and necessity of storytelling." Rain Taxi "Jackson has a significant point to make, which is that stories have as much, if not more, to do with the listener than the teller...The Story Is True makes a number of other fascinating points, not the least of which is that the role of stories, in any society, is to help its members make sense of the world, to bind them together more closely and pass on social and cultural values...Jackson has produced a thought-provoking and readable book." The Times Higher Education Supplement "A folklorist and filmmaker as well as a professor, Jackson relates how stories originate, are told and embellished, and thus how definitions of what is true or not vary, depending on the situation and the teller of the story...Throughout, Jackson emphasizes the importance of story telling (even 'news' stories) in daily life." Communication Booknotes Quarterly "[Jackson] analyzes with remarkable clarity the differences between the way things actually happen in the world and the way they are reconceived and manipulated in a storytelling arena, whether that arena is a work of fiction, a courtroom, a dinner table or the halls of government...All make for entertaining reading, apart from their contributions to the book's arguments." Artvoice "[T]he author explores qualities good stories evidence--context, listeners, revisions, artistic sensibility, shapes, reconstructions, endings, frames, and so on. Jackson's masterful analyses of these abstractions about narratives tend to fade into the background as Jackson's own storytelling prowess comes into play...These are entertaining and accessible stories, and this book is a good read. Highly Recommended." Choice "Jackson articulates a struggle to understand stories beyond the information they convey. How, he asks, do stories convey what is unspeakable, and how do stories end being about far more than the experiences they describe?...Jackson's book is informative the way legend is informative... Without question The Story Is True advances our understanding of personal experience narrative." Journal of Folklore Research "[A] thoughtful examination of story and storytelling... It is a brilliant mobilization of storycraft to illuminate aspects of the storyteller's art and the nature of story itself... The Story Is True is a delight to read. Bruce Jackson has written an enjoyable and entertaining book that is grounded in solid theory and mature observation. Students of narrative will find much insight in the stories told here by this master storyteller. For those who choose to read deeper, an expanded understanding of humanity's most intimate workings is in store." -Voices, 1st October 2008 "This is a delightful book. Jackson is not only a great storyteller he also has the ability to make his points with ease and insight by telling stories from our shared repertoire of stories... Jackson has a chapter on James Agee and Walker Evans and their Let Us Now Praise Famous Men that is a sensitive reading of that marvelous book and the story of its genesis and life. That plus his detailed report of the Bob Dylan myth makes this paperback well worth its price. Jackson's book is fun to read and is easily accessible to the general reader." Metapsychology Online Reviews, 9th June 2009 "A great interdisciplinary master, Bruce Jackson delves into the nature of story in this collection... Jackson's book is a work every oral historian should read. It shows how stories inform many disciplines, oral history among them. Reading this book, oral historians will come to a greater comprehension of the range of the types of narrative they elicit. In doing so, they will also develop a greater sophistication in distinguishing oral history from other kinds of narratives." -Oral Hisotry Review, March 2010 Throughout the book, the author is a formidable presence, major character in the stories he is presenting...The writing style is warm, lucid, and informal--at all times humane and accessible... This book could be the sort of introductory classroom text that turns students of narrative into enthusiasts." The Journal of American Folklore
EAN: 9781592136070
ISBN: 1592136079
Untertitel: Sprache: Englisch.
Erscheinungsdatum: September 2008
Seitenanzahl: 244 Seiten
Format: kartoniert
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