The Passionate Muse: Exploration of Emotion in Stories

Hardcover | March 1, 2012

byKeith Oatley

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The emotions a character feels - Hamlet's vengefulness when he realizes his uncle has killed his father, Anna Karenina's despair when she feels she can longer sustain her life, Marcel's joy when he tastes a piece of madeleine cake - are vital aspects of the experience of fiction. As KeithOatley points out, it's not just the emotions of literary characters such as these in which we are interested. If we didn't ourselves experience emotions, we wouldn't go to the play, or watch the film, or read the book. In The Passionate Muse, Oatley, who is both a prize-winning novelist and a distinguished research psychologist, offers a hybrid book that alternates sections of an original short story, "One Another," with chapters that illuminate the psychology of emotion and fiction. Oatley not only providesinsight into how people engage in stories, he also illuminates the value of emotion and the importance of stories for our psychological well-being. Indeed, he offers evidence that the more fiction we read, the better is our understandings of others. Through fiction, we come to know more about theemotions of others and ourselves.

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The emotions a character feels - Hamlet's vengefulness when he realizes his uncle has killed his father, Anna Karenina's despair when she feels she can longer sustain her life, Marcel's joy when he tastes a piece of madeleine cake - are vital aspects of the experience of fiction. As KeithOatley points out, it's not just the emotions of...

Keith Oatley is Professor Emeritus of Cognitive Psychology at the University of Toronto. He is the author of three novels and six books of psychology, and co-author of the textbook Understanding Emotions.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:272 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 0.98 inPublished:March 1, 2012Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199767637

ISBN - 13:9780199767632

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Table of Contents

One another-- Part I1. EnjoymentOne another-- Part II2. The suspense of plotOne another-- Part III3. Falling in loveOne another-- Part IV4. Loss and sadnessOne another-- Part V5. TransformationOne another-- Part VI6. Anger and retributionOne another-- Part VII7. Other minds8. ReflectionAcknowledgmentsNotesNotes