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On Stories

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  91 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
Drawing on the work of James Joyce, the story of Sigmund Freud's Dora and the case of Oscar Schindler, this text illuminates how stories are deep at work in fictional writing, autobiography, psychoanalysis and above all, in attempts to talk of the self. The author also considers the stories of nations and how these may affect the way a national identity can emerge from sto ...more
Paperback, 208 pages
Published October 18th 2001 by Routledge
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Emma Sea
Otis and Jeff need to read this book:

Whenever [book review website management] forgets its own narrative origins it becomes dangerous. Self-oblivion is the disease of a community that takes itself for granted - or like an overgrown narcissistic infant presumes that it is the centre of the world, entitled to assert itself to the detriment of others. When this happens the [book review website management] congeals into a terrifying will-to-power. The result is totalitarianism . . . " (p. 81)
Dec 26, 2011 rated it really liked it
Kearney presents an accessible philosophical defense of narrative and the importance of story for human identity and ethics. As always, I appreciate his emphasis on ethics, his ability to develop and make many of Ricouer's insights accessible, his humor, and his defense of an integrated and balanced author/text/reader relationship in a philosophical context that emphasizes the radical impossibility of understanding and representation without violence. Kearney (convincingly in my view) points out ...more
Oct 10, 2013 rated it liked it
I enjoyed a lot of Kearney's perspectives, and he has an easy way of writing that invites me to keep reading, knowing I'm understanding, yet challenging me to think in order to grasp what he's saying at other times. For example, I learned about positivism (one truth), relativism (many truths), and heuristism (a balance between the two: many truths/interpretations, but also effort to corroborate with general reality).

This book is solidly on the topic of narrative and its meaning to us as humans,
Jul 18, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
While a lot of Kearney's ideas about narrative are nothing new to me, having read fairly extensively in the field of narrative theory, I am inspired by his ideas on the ethics of narrative. He injects a refreshing common sense into the debate about narrative truth versus historical truth, emphasizing our ethical responsibility to attend to both the correspondence to "historical facts" and to the process of narration. I had the opportunity to hear Richard Kearney speak at a lecture at University ...more
ArEzO.... Es
Sep 09, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
برای تجسم ریشه های داستان گویی باید برای خودمان داستانی تعریف کنیم. کسی،جایی،زمانی به فکرش رسید که بگوید:« روزی روزگاری»، و با این کار، در ذهن شنوندگانش شعله های تخیل را روشن کرد. قصه از تکه پاره های تجربه به هم بافته شد و اتفاقات گذشته و حال را به هم پیوست و هر دوی آن ها را به دل قالب رویای امکانات و احتمالات ریخت. وقتی شنونده ها آغاز را می شنیدند، خواستار میانه و بعد پایان آن بودند. داستان به نظر نوعی حس زمان، تاریخ و زندگی آن ها را در خود داشت. داستان هدیه و موهبت رب النوع ها به انسان فانی بو ...more
May 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: politics, philosophy
Kearney writes about the importance of storytelling in our personal lives as a way of healing, but also about it's influence on the social level - specifically on the national myths. I recently got interested into myths and tales, so I really liked it. Nothing spectacular, but worth the time.
Kearney is able to distill ethical criticism into a trackable, engaging exploration.
Nov 23, 2016 marked it as to-read
See especially Ch. 7 ("Roman Foundation Myths: Aeneas and Romulus") and Ch. 8 ("Briatain and Ireland: A Tale of Siamese Twins").
Jan 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: philosophy
Very good introduction to narrativity for the lay reader.
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Richard Kearney is the Charles Seelig professor of philosophy at Boston College and has taught at many universities including University College Dublin, the Sorbonne, and the University of Nice.

He studied at Glenstal Abbey under the Benedictines until 1972, and was a 1st Class Honours graduate in Philosophy in the Bachelor of Arts graduate class of 1975 in UCD. He completed an M.A. at McGill Unive
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“If we possess narrative sympathy - enabling us to see the world from other's point of view - we cannot kill. If we do not, we cannot love.” 7 likes
“Narrative is an open-ended invitation to ethical and poetical responsiveness. Storytelling invites us to become not just agents of our own lives, but narrators and readers as well. It shows us that the untold life is not worth living.
There will always be someone there to say, 'tell me a story', and someone there to respond. Were this not so, we would no longer be fully human.”
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