Cognitive Literary Studies: Current Themes and New Directions

Paperback | April 1, 2013

EditorIsabel Jaén, Julien Jacques Simon

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Over the past decade, our understanding of the cognition of literature has been transformed by scientific discoveries, such as the mirror neuron system and its role in empathy. Addressing questions such as why we care so deeply about fictional characters, what brain activities are sparked when we read literature, and how literary works and scholarship can inform the cognitive sciences, this book surveys the exciting recent developments in the field of cognitive literary studies and includes contributions from leading scholars in both the humanities and the sciences.

Beginning with an overview of the evolution of literary studies, the editors trace the recent shift from poststructuralism and its relativism to a growing interdisciplinary interest in the empirical realm of neuroscience. In illuminating essays that examine the cognitive processes at work when we experience fictional worlds, with findings on the brain’s creativity sites, this collection also explores the impact of literature on self and society, ending with a discussion on the present and future of the psychology of fiction. Contributors include Literature and the Brain author Norman N. Holland, on the neuroscience of metafiction reflected in Don Quixote; clinical psychologist Aaron Mishara on the neurology of self in the hypnagogic (between waking and sleeping) state and its manifestations in Kafka’s stories; and literary scholar Brad Sullivan’s exploration of Romantic poetry as a didactic tool, applying David Hartley’s eighteenth-century theories of sensory experience.

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Over the past decade, our understanding of the cognition of literature has been transformed by scientific discoveries, such as the mirror neuron system and its role in empathy. Addressing questions such as why we care so deeply about fictional characters, what brain activities are sparked when we read literature, and how literary works...

Julien Jacques Simon is Associate Professor of Spanish and French at Indiana University East.

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Paperback|Jan 28 2007

$120.60 online$124.95list price
Format:PaperbackDimensions:279 pages, 9 × 6.05 × 0.3 inPublished:April 1, 2013Publisher:University Of Texas PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0292754426

ISBN - 13:9780292754423

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Table of Contents

Foreword F. Elizabeth HartIntroduction Isabel Jaén and Julien J. SimonSection I: Cognitive Literary Studies Today1. An Overview of Recent Developments in Cognitive Literary Studies Isabel Jaén and Julien J. SimonSection II: The Cognitive Sciences and Literary Theory in Dialogue2. Why Literature Is Necessary, and Not Just Nice Richard J. Gerrig3. Theory of Mind in Reconciling the Split Object of Narrative Comprehension Joseph A. MurphySection III: Neurological Approaches to Literature4. Don Quixote and the Neuroscience of Metafiction Norman N. Holland5. The Mourning Brain: Attachment, Anticipation, and Hamlet’s Unmanly Grief Patrick Colm Hogan6. The Literary Neuroscience of Kafka’s Hypnagogic Hallucinations: How Literature Informs the Neuroscientific Study of Self and Its Disorders Aaron L. MisharaSection IV: Language, Literature, and Mind Processes7. Blending and Beyond: Form and Feeling in Poetic Iconicity Margaret H. Freeman8. “A sermon in the midst of a smutty tale”: Blending in Genres of Speech, Writing, and Literature Michael Sinding9. Counting in Metrical Verse Nigel Fabb and Morris Halle10. Fictive Motion and Perspectival Construal in the Lyric Claiborne RiceSection V: Literature and Human Development11. Education by Poetry: Hartley’s Theory of Mind as a Context for Understanding Early Romantic Poetic Strategies Brad Sullivan12. Leafy Houses and Acorn Kisses: J. M. Barrie’s Neverland Playground Glenda SacksPostscript: The Psychology of Fiction: Present and Future Keith Oatley, Raymond A. Mar, and Maja DjikicContributorsIndex