Modifications to Aristotle's Poetics

Abstract

Aristotle's Poetics has been the basis for theories of entertainment for over 2,000 years. But the general approach it uses has led to a number of gaps, contradictions, and difficulties in predicting the success of books, plays, movies, and entertainment as a whole, so much so that sayings like "there are no rules, but you break them at your peril," and "in Hollywood, nobody knows anything" have become widespread and accepted. However, it turns out that a model of entertainment that defines literary conventions by the pleasurable feelings they release in the brain, and then equates them with outside experiences that people subconsciously attach to the literary work, in the same way that we can be conditioned to feel love when we view our wedding rings, can actually resolve almost every seeming contradiction in Aristotle's ideas and traditional theories of storytelling when compared to real-world results. Furthermore, this approach can be extended to the other major forms of art, including painting, music and even video games, leading to a "Non-Aristotelian" theory that modifies the fundamental aspects of each of these fields, but in a natural and necessary way, which strengthens both our understanding and our ability to predict the success or failure of art in the future. My work as a vlogger and writer, mostly done via my Youtube channel "StoryBrain," has been viewed over 6 million times, and written about in MovieMaker magazine, Creative Screenwriting magazine, on the front page of major sites like Reddit, Roger Ebert online, and in international newspapers like the Sydney Morning-Herald in Australia and Fotogramas in Spain. My work is also the subject of a chapter of the currently-in-release book "Neuro-Design," by Kogan Page publishing, called "The Neuro Movie Analyst." This paper is a detailed introduction to the theory of Emotional Indiscretion which I have talked about in my work.

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