The Trickster Brain: Neuroscience, Evolution, and Narrative

The Trickster Brain: Neuroscience, Evolution, and Narrative

by David Williams
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0739143972

ISBN-13: 9780739143971

Pub. Date: 05/29/2012

Publisher: Lexington Books

Until recently, scientific and literary cultures have existed side-by-side but most often in parallel universes, without connection. The Trickster Brain: Neuroscience, Evolution, and Nature by David Williams addresses the premise that humans are a biological species stemming from the long process of evolution, and that we do exhibit a universal human nature, given

Overview

Until recently, scientific and literary cultures have existed side-by-side but most often in parallel universes, without connection. The Trickster Brain: Neuroscience, Evolution, and Nature by David Williams addresses the premise that humans are a biological species stemming from the long process of evolution, and that we do exhibit a universal human nature, given to us through our genes. From this perspective, literature is shown to be a product of our biological selves. By exploring central ideas in neuroscience, evolutionary biology, linguistics, music, philosophy, ethics, religion, and history, Williams shows that it is the circuitry of the brain’s hard-wired dispositions that continually create similar tales around the world: “archetypal” stories reflecting ancient tensions that arose from our evolutionary past and the very construction of our brains. The book asserts that to truly understand literature, one must look at the biological creature creating it. By using the lens of science to examine literature, we can see how stories reveal universal aspects of the biological mind. The Trickster character is particularly instructive as an archetypal character who embodies a raft of human traits and concerns, for Trickster is often god, devil, musical, sexual, silver tongued, animal, and human at once, treading upon the moral dictates of culture.

Williams brings together science and the humanities, demonstrating a critical way of approaching literature that incorporates scientific thought.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780739143971
Publisher:
Lexington Books
Publication date:
05/29/2012
Pages:
314
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.20(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Table of Contents

Introduction Chapter 1: Searching for Trickster Chapter 2: The Silver Tongued Devil Archetypes Where is Science in the Study of Literature?
Universal Human Nature Textual Authority vs. Empirical Evidence How Did Language Begin?
Chomsky Schema Theory Chapter 3: The Tricksterish Brain Chapter 4: Evolution Chapter 5: The Brain of Sex Sex, Disease, and Competition Displays The Sexiest Animals Ornamental Mind Chapter 6: The Brain of Love and War Sexual Selection and Altruism Monogamy?
Women and War Civilization and Enslavement of Women Why Love?
The Power of Love: Women’s Songs of Love from Afghanistan Chapter 7: The Brain of Song Music and Language—Common Roots Two Camps Why Did Music and Language Split?
Music and Food Sexual Selection for Music Tribal Songs for Every Aspect of Life Chapter 8: Ethics The Falacy of the Naturalistic Fallacy: Is—Ought Fairness and Justice in the Animal World Chapter 9: Storytelling and the Theory of Mind Unconsciousness & Consciousness Theory of Mind Chapter 10: The Brain of God Potheism/Monotheism and the Search for Meaning Why God?
What Caused Religion?
Origins of Religion Other Explanations Chapter 11: The Trickster of Mythology Why Trickster?
Trickster Biological Origins Chapter 12: A Swath of Trickster Stories from Oral Literature Sex, Desire, and the Body Some Trickster Stories from Around the World Coyote Marries a Man (Plains Cree, North America)
A Contest for Wives (Cochiti, North America)
Legba (Fon, West Africa)
Coyote Visits the Women (Assiniboine, North America)
Coyote and His Anus (Nez Perce, North America)
The Trickster Myth (Winnebago, North America) excerpts Uncle Tompa (Tibet)
Namaranganin (Aborigine, Australia)
Coyote Sleeps with His Own Daughters (Southern Ute, North America)
How Kwaku Ananse Got Aso in Marriage (Ashanti, Africa)
Coyote Keeps his Dead Wife’s Genitals (Lipan Apache, North America)
Chapter 13: Female Tricksters Evil Woman Trickster Stories The Toothed Vagina (Yurok, North America)
Teeth in the Wrong Place (Ponca-Otoe, North America)
The Witch Wife (Colombia)
Proverbs 5, 3-8 (Hebrew)
Clever/Good Women Trickster Stories Old Man Coyote Meets Coyote Woman (Blackfoot, North America)
The Most Precious Thing in the World (Hebrew)
The Clever Daughter-in-Law (Kanda, India)
The Wife who Refused to be Beaten (Kashmiri, India)
One More Use for Artists (Gujerti, India)
The Faithful Wife and the Woman Warrior (Tiwa, North America) A Pueblo tale featuring Apache characters Iktome Sleeps with His Wife by Mistake (Brule Sioux, North America)
Chapter 14: Literary Filters Chapter 15: Music and the Trickster Literary Filters Music and the Trickster Singing the World Into Being: Creation Stories with Song Apache Creation Story (North America)
Creation Story (Hopi, North America)
Bunjil The Creator #1 (Aboriginal, Australian)
Diné (or Navajo) (North America)
Mythic Trickster Musicians and Singers Ajapa and the Roasted-Peanut Seller (Yoruba, Africa)
Coyote Giving (Paiute, North America)
Hermes (Greek)
Hanuman (India)
The Zande Trickster, Tule; The Bushman (Africa)
Chapter 16: A Swath of Other Trickster Stories from Around the World The Wonderful Tar Baby Story (African American)
John (African American)
How the Wicked Tanuki was Punished (Japan)
Fox and Snake—Good is Repaid with Evil (Venezuela)
Sun Wu-K’Ung, The Monkey King (China)
Dionysus (Greek)
The Wanderings of Dionysus (Greek)
Prometheus (Greek)
Pandora (Greek)
Orpheus (Greek)
Coyote and the Shadow People (Nez Perce, America)
The Infancy Gospel of Thomas (Apocrophy Gospel, 2nd century)
Jesus Child (Quichua, Ecuador)
Jesus Christ (Cakchiquel Maya (Guatemala)/ Matias Sicajan)
We-Gyet (‘Ksan, Northwest Coast)
Chapter 17: The Trickster Personified The Heyoka Ceremony Buddhist Clowns Jewish and Christian Clowns Other Clowns Islamic Clown Jesters Kannada; Tamil; Telugu (India)
How Tamali Rama Became A Jester (India)
Tamali Rama Recites Story of Ramayna (India)
Tyll Ulenspiegel’s Merry Prank (Germany)
Quevedo and the King (Mexico)
Chapter 18: Blues & Courting Tricksters Chapter 19: Trickster in Written Literature Chapter 20: Trickster Was Wandering

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