RE: Why Europe is so Contrary

From: Jeremy Bradley (
Date: Sat 07 Dec 2002 - 20:13:53 GMT

  • Next message: Jeremy Bradley: "RE: Why Europe is so Contrary"

    At 07:46 AM 7/12/02 -0800, you wrote:
    >I would agree, except I would say the narrative viewpoint is the cause
    >rather than the result.

    Yes Grant there is a chicken and egg conundrum here.

    I suspect that Chomsky was right about the genetic
    >structure of some elements of language and that the narrative viewpoint is
    >one of them. It's part of our grammar and the hunger for order. A story
    >without beginning or end fails to satisfy the reader more often than not. I
    >remember feeling that way when I read the second book of Lord of the Rings.
    >It wasn't until I found out that the trilogy was supposed to be a single
    >book that I lost that feeling disappointment. I also find that need for a
    >beginning and end in the literature of China and Japan. That doesn't make
    >it universal, but it sure spreads it over a wide range of human behavior.

    The reason that India, China and Japan were viewed as 'civilised' by Europeans is that the Europeans recognised the hallmarks of 'civilisation' in those societies. They had hereditary stratification, gold based economies, standing armies, textual records etc. And they had narrative patterns which were easily recognised. As you say, this is widely spread but not universal. I will write more on this and start a new thread with it soon Cheers Jeremy

    =============================================================== This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission For information about the journal and the list (e.g. unsubscribing) see:

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Sat 07 Dec 2002 - 20:18:01 GMT