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Mortal Minds and Cosmic Horrors: A Cognitive Analysis of Literary Cosmic Horror in H.P.Lovecraft's ”The Shadow Out of Time”
Halmstad University, School of Education, Humanities and Social Science.
2018 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This essay explores how the reader cognitively reacts to reading H. P. Lovecraft’s horror story “The Shadow Out of Time” (1936). I analyse the text to see how it invites readers to beaffected by it. I specifically look at invitations to envisionment, subjective experience andintersubjectivity. The literary horror terms uncertainty and uncanniness are used inconjunction with cognitive theory to explain how the readers may react to readingLovecraft’s stories. These are in turn reinforced by the reader's ongoing envisionment of thestory, and their sharing of the character’s experiences via subjective experience. For example,the separation between the mind and body of the protagonist creates an uncanny dissonanceto his own identity, which disrupts the reader’s understanding of the character. This maycause distress in the reader due to the subjective experience that connects the reader to thecharacter. Additionally, the disrupted sense of reality in the book affects the narrator'sperceptions of both his surroundings and his own mental faculties. Subsequently, the reader’sunderstanding of the text is also in a state of flux which affects their envisionment of thestory. This disrupts understanding and may enhance feelings of unease. My theory istherefore that unease is invited by certain horror techniques, such as uncertainty anduncanniness, which in turn influence the reader specifically through subjective experienceand envisionment.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. , p. 29
Keywords [en]
Lovecraft, Cosmic Horror, Cognition, Envisionment, Subjective Experience, Uncertainty, Uncanniness
National Category
Specific Literatures General Literature Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hh:diva-38854OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hh-38854DiVA, id: diva2:1286475
Subject / course
English
Educational program
The Language Studies Programme - Processing and Editing Texts, 180 credits
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2019-05-15 Created: 2019-02-07 Last updated: 2019-05-15Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf