Thursday, September 3, 2009

Children Understand Narrative

"And though equally natural and native to the expanding human mind, the narrative comes first, has spiritual priority. Very young children love and demand stories, and can understand complex maters presented as stories, when their powers of comprehending general concepts, paradigms, are almost non-existent. It is this narrative or symbolic power which gives a sense of the world—a concrete reality in the imaginative form of symbol and story—where abstract thought can provide nothing at all. A child follows the Bible before he follows Euclid. Not because the Bible is simpler (the reverse might be said), but because it is cast in a symbolic and narrative mode."

- Oliver Sacks. The Man who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, and Other Clinical Tales. HarperCollins: New York, 1985. pg 183-184

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