The seven basic plots : why we tell stories


The seven basic plots : why we tell stories

by Christopher Booker

Continuum, 2004

  • : pbk

大学図書館所蔵 件 / 20



Includes bibliographical references (p. 711-713) and indexes



ISBN 9780826452092


This is a monumental work of breath-taking originality - the fruit of a lifetime's research and reading that will unlock the secrets of stories through the ages for all. From The Epic of Gilgamesh to Jaws and Schindler's List, Christopher Booker examines in details the stories that underlie literature and the plots that are basic to story-telling through the ages. In this magisterial work he examines the plots of films, opera libretti and the contemporary novel and short story. Underlying the stories he examines are seven basic plots: rags to riches; the quest; voyage and return; the hero as monster; rebirth, and so on. Booker shows that the images and stories serve a far deeper and more significant purpose in our lives than we have realised hitherto. In the definition of these basic plots, Booker shows us entering a realm in which the recognition of the plots proves to be only the gateway. We are in fact uncovering a kind of hidden universal language: a nucleus of situations and figures that are the very stuff from which stories are made. With Booker's exploration, there is literally no story in the world that cannot be seen in a new light. We have come to the heart of what stories are about, and why we tell them. Here, Christopher Booker moves on from some of the themes he outlined in his best-selling book The Neophiliacs. Seven Basic Plots is unquestionably his most important book to date.


  • Introduction and Historical Note
  • Part One: The Seven Gateways to the Underworld
  • Prologue
  • 1. Overcoming the Monster
  • 2. The Monster and The Thrilling Escape from Death
  • 3. Rags to Riches
  • 4. The Quest
  • 5. Voyage and Return
  • 6. Comedy
  • 7. Comedy (II)
  • 8. Tragedy
  • 9. Tragedy (II)- The Divided Self
  • 10. Tragedy (III)
  • 11. Rebirth
  • 12. The Dark Power - From Shadow Into Light
  • Epilogue: The Rule of Three
  • Part Two: The Complete Happy Ending
  • Prologue
  • 13. The Dark Figures
  • 14. Seeing Whole
  • 15. The Perfect Balance
  • 16. The Unrealized Value
  • 17. The Archetypal Family Drama (II)
  • 18. The Light Figures
  • 19. Reaching the Goal
  • 20. The Fatal Flaw
  • Part Three: Missing the Mark
  • 21. Enter the Dark Inversion
  • 22. The Ego Takes Over (I)
  • 23. The Ego Takes Over (II)
  • 24. The Ego Takes Over (III)
  • 25. Losing the Plot
  • 26. Going Nowhere
  • 27. Why Sex and Violence? 28. Rebellion Against the One
  • 29. The Mystery
  • 30. The Riddle of the Sphinx
  • Part Four: Why We Tell Stories
  • 31. Telling Us Who We Are
  • 32. Into the Real World
  • 33. Of Gods and Men
  • 34. The Age of Loki
  • Epilogue

: pbk ISBN 9780826480378


Breathtaking in its scope and originality, "Seven Basic Plots" examines the basis of story telling in literature, film, and libretto. No one will ever see stories in the same way again. This remarkable and monumental book at last provides a comprehensive answer to the age-old riddle of whether there are only a small number of 'basic stories' in the world. Using a wealth of examples, from ancient myths and folk tales via the plays and novels of great literature to the popular movies and TV soap operas of today, it shows that there are seven archetypal themes which recur throughout every kind of storytelling. But this is only the prelude to an investigation into how and why we are 'programmed' to imagine stories in these ways, and how they relate to the inmost patterns of human psychology. Drawing on a vast array of examples, from Proust to detective stories, from the Marquis de Sade to E.T., Christopher Booker then leads us through the extraordinary changes in the nature of storytelling over the past 200 years, and why so many stories have 'lost the plot' by losing touch with their underlying archetypal purpose. Booker analyses why evolution has given us the need to tell stories and illustrates how storytelling has provided a uniquely revealing mirror to mankind's psychological development over the past 5000 years. This seminal book opens up in an entirely new way our understanding of the real purpose storytelling plays in our lives, and will be a talking point for years to come.


  • Introduction and Historical Note
  • Part One: The Seven Gateways to the Underworld
  • Part Two: The Complete Happy Ending
  • Part Three: Missing the Mark
  • Part Four: Why We Tell Stories
  • Epilogue.

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  • ISBN
    • 0826452094
    • 0826480373
  • 出版国コード
  • タイトル言語コード
  • 本文言語コード
  • 出版地
    London ; New York
  • ページ数/冊数
    viii, 728 p.
  • 大きさ
    24 cm
  • 分類
  • 件名