In this Book

The Story Is True
summary

Making and experiencing stories, remembering and retelling them is something we all do. We tell stories over meals, at the water cooler, and to both friends and strangers. But how do stories work? What is it about telling and listening to stories that unites us? And, more importantly, how do we change them-and how do they change us?

In The Story Is True, author, filmmaker, and photographer Bruce Jackson explores the ways we use the stories that become a central part of our public and private lives. He examines, as no one before has, how stories narrate and bring meaning to our lives, by describing and explaining how stories are made and used. The perspectives shared in this engaging book come from the tellers, writers, filmmakers, listeners, and watchers who create and consume stories.

Jackson writes about his family and friends, acquaintances and experiences, focusing on more than a dozen personal stories. From oral histories, such as conversations the author had with poet Steven Spender, to public stories, such as what happened when Bob Dylan "went electric" at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival. Jackson also investigates how "words can kill" showing how diction can be an administrator of death, as in Nazi extermination camps. And finally, he considers the way lies come to resemble truth, showing how the stories we tell, whether true or not, resemble truth to the teller.

Ultimately, The Story Is True is about the place of stories-fiction or real-and the impact they have on the lives of each one of us.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Frontmatter
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. v-vi
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  1. Acknowledgements
  2. pp. vi-ix
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  1. Introduction
  2. pp. x-xii
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  1. Part I: Personal Stories
  2. p. 1
  1. 1. Telling Stories
  2. pp. 3-15
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  1. 2. The Fate of Stories
  2. pp. 16-39
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  1. 3. The True Story of Why Stephen Spender Quit the Spanish Civil War
  2. pp. 40-49
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  1. 4. The Stories People Tell
  2. pp. 50-79
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  1. 5. Acting in the Passive, or, Somebody Got Killed but Nobody Killed Anybody
  2. pp. 80-83
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  1. 6. The Story of Chuck
  2. pp. 84-89
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  1. 7. Commanding the Story
  2. pp. 90-104
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  1. Part II: Public Stories
  2. p. 105
  1. 8. Stories That Don't Make Sense
  2. pp. 107-120
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  1. 9. The Real O. J. Story
  2. pp. 121-138
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  1. 10. Bob Dylan and the Legend of Newport 1965
  2. pp. 139-150
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  1. 11. Silver Bullets
  2. pp. 151-171
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  1. 12. The Deceptive Anarchy of Let Us Now Praise Famous Men
  2. pp. 172-186
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  1. 13. Words to Kill By
  2. pp. 187-202
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  1. Part III: The Story is True
  2. p. 203
  1. 14. The Storyteller I Looked for Every Time I Looked for Storytellers
  2. pp. 205-230
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  1. 15. Farinata's Silence
  2. pp. 231-234
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 235-238
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 239-244
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