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Stories We Need to Know: Reading Your Life Path in Literature Paperback – January 1, 2008
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"Just as these are Stories We Need, Allan Hunter is an author we need."
Suzanne Strempek Shea, author, Becoming Finola
About the Author
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By Allan G. Hunter
ISBN 1-84409-123-6 (Findhorn Press, 2008)
By exploring 3,000 years of literature, Dr. Allan Hunter has brought to life six archetypes that traditionally have transmitted sacred meanings to generation after generation. Western society, by taking our stories literally, has disabled the transformative power of myth; this book reinstates that power by revisiting some of the classics using archetypes as your guide. Joseph Campbell would be in bliss if he read Dr. Hunter's work.
Rahasya Poe, Lotus Guide magazine
Stories We Need to Know is written in an admirably lucid style and bears the hallmark of a writer who has spent many years teaching in a range of contexts. Ideas are explained with care and precision as well as subtlety. Each idea is grounded in clearly worked through examples that show how the central principles operate in practice. This is never reductive or oversimplifying though - the examples test the theory thoroughly and Hunter is subtly persuasive in demonstrating how ideas may work in real life, as well as literary, contexts. The intellectual range of the book is equally impressive, covering narratives from classical times to the present (including biblical texts), and offering incisive, penetrating interpretations that explore their relevance for readers. Hunter writes with assurance, showing intellectual boldness and arguing cogently. But he also shows wisdom, tact and sometimes humour in handling his materials, demonstrating many of the qualities that his book suggests we might learn. This is an important, stimulating and immensely readable book, that carries its learning lightly - I would recommend it wholeheartedly.
This is where the Western canon comes in. He reminds us that these are stories we need to know for many reasons. One is to provide models of mature, fulfilled, balanced, and nurturing leaders and their life paths. This, in turn, can inspire searching, letting go, and finding what we each need for an authentic life. An archetype template is provided, known to many of us but rarely applied to both literature and to daily life. This is fascinating. On one page you identify with knights of the round table while on the next you're clarifying personal values in the margins.
Hunter advocates learning from great literature to help us achieve peace on many levels. If a hint of that is gleaned from Stories We Need To Know - as it was for me - it's well worth the read.
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