Podcast 31 – Seven Basic Plots vs 1001 Nights of Stories

Can all the stories of the world be summarised as just seven basic plots, or even just the four narrative forms first defined by Aristotle? There is a long history of trying to make sense of the common patterns of stories, myths and legends. This episode of The Burning Archive examines tragedy and comedy, the story of the story of stories, the seven basic plots, and how even historians write their histories with these plots. But can the inventiveness of great storytellers really be limited to seven basic plots. Will Scheherazade outwit, outlast and outplay the critics?

The podcast is available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts and wherever you get your podcasts.

Material referred to in the show is

  • Tales from the Thousand and One Nights
  • Christopher Booker, The Seven Basic Plots: Why We Tell Stories (2004)
  • Joseph Campbell, The Hero with a Thousand Faces (1948)
  • Hayden White, Metahistory (1973)

Thanks to Freya Rich, Isaac Rich, Ryan and Haidi for contributing the listener questions to the show.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: