“The Seven Basic Plots”. The key is in how you react to it.

In a hefty tome that has gone through a head-spinning twenty reprints (as of 2011), Christopher Booker brings home one important message: To carry a story through to successful resolution is no easy task.

At heart, Booker’s magnum opus is an attempt to unearth the basic affective categories through which human beings parse the world for meaning. And he goes scavenging for them in the plots of the stories we tell. In the process, he ends up with seven cardinal structures that illustrate the dynamic interplay between the basic moral modes of apprehending the world. The orderly, rational properties that belong to the affective realm of the masculine and of the Father need to be complemented with the sense of relatedness and the attitude of selflessness that stems from the feminine and the Mother. Read more

Where Art Meets Occupy

So we find ourselves, our ways of telling unbalanced, trapped inside a runaway narrative, headed for the worst kind of encounter with reality. In such a moment, writers, artists, poets and storytellers of all kinds have a critical role to play. Creativity remains the most uncontrollable of human forces: without it, the project of civilisation is inconceivable, yet no part of life remains so untamed and undomesticated. Words and images can change minds, hearts, even the course of history. Their makers shape the stories people carry through their lives, unearth old ones and breathe them back to life, add new twists, point to unexpected endings. It is time to pick up the threads and make the stories new, as they must always be made new, starting from where we are.

Source: Uncivilisation – The Dark Mountain Manifesto

It was whilst reading this paragraph, that I had one of those moments when two things I had put into separate boxes suddenly click, and come back with a new, enticing twist. Read more

Civilisation and the Terrible Father

The Terrible Father is a mythological figure that represents any system of knowing that wilfully discards new information when it does not fit with its world view, and obliterates that knowledge from its gaze. He is a powerful reminder that chaos is not only found in the lack of order or ability to make sense of the world. It is also found in too much order, which leaves us unable to accept anything that doesn’t fit comfortably into our way of seeing things. Read more