Bedtime with Shahrazad

Mark Turner

in The Literary Mind

Published in print November 1998 | ISBN: 9780195126679
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199853007 | DOI:
Bedtime with Shahrazad

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The book posits that the human mind is essentially literary and the chapter begins with a short parable related to the story of Shahrazad that illustrates this point. Narrative imagining, or the creation of stories, is identified as being a literary capability which is indispensable to human cognition, along with the ability to project one story onto another. The parable effectively combines these two and the chapter explores in detail its capacity for story generation and projection. The remaining sections enumerate the mental patterns of the parable. These include prediction, evaluation, planning, explanation, objects and events, actors, stories, projection, metonymy, emblem, image schemas, counterparts and imaginative domains, conceptual blending, and language. These terms are discussed in the context of Shahrazad's story and specific examples are provided. The concluding section asserts that basic mental processes exist that enable the creation of meaning, with the parable being one example.

Keywords: parable; Shahrazad; narrative imagining; story; projection; mental patterns

Chapter.  4329 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Philosophy of Mind

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