Eric M. Van (+M) with discussion from R. Scott Bakker, John Clute, John Crowley, Glenn Grant, John Langan, Charles Oberndorf
Talk/Discussion (60 min.). What brain mechanisms (and evolutionary rationales) underlie the fundamental narrative elements of plot, character, and style? Which narrative element seems to be more fundamental than generally recognized, when looked at from this perspective? How can the deep meaning of a narrative work be rigorously conceptualized in terms of information storage in the brain? On how many simultaneous levels do we process a story as we try to fully understand it? Van offers up the beginnings of a theory of narrative aesthetics informed by cognitive science, with feedback at every stage from the audience.
This was the middle panel that I took notes on, but it's the one I'm least sure I understood, so it seemed best to post it first before my notes got any more incomprehensible. (I went over my notes on the first panel shortly thereafter and so am a lot more confident in them.)
I should also say that I'm trying to do less work on the notes—I used to try and turn everything into nice coherent paragraphs, and the end result was re-writing the whole damn thing from scratch (yes, even with notes on the Palm), which took forever. I'm still trying to indicate connections and make the notes grammatical, but in many places this is much more dialogue-like than prior reports.
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