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Presence in the reading of literary narrative: A case for motor enactment
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Literature and History of Ideas.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9309-2343
2012 (English)In: Semiotica, ISSN 0037-1998, E-ISSN 1613-3692, Vol. 189, no 1-4, 23-48 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Drawing on research in narrative theory and literary aesthetics, text and discourseprocessing, phenomenology and the experimental cognitive sciences,this paper outlines an embodied theory of presence (i.e., the reader’s sense ofhaving entered a tangible environment) in the reading of literary narrative.Contrary to common assumptions, it is argued that there is no straightforwardrelation between the degree of detail in spatial description on one hand, andthe vividness of spatial imagery and presence on the other. It is also arguedthat presence arises from a first-person, enactive process of sensorimotorsimulation/resonance, rather than from mere visualizing from the perspectiveof a passive, third-person observer. In sections 1 to 3, an inter-theoretical argumentis presented, proposing that presence may be effectively cued by explicit(or strongly implied) references to object-directed bodily movement. Insection 4, an attempt is made at explaining which ways of embedding suchreferences in the narrative may be particularly productive at eliciting presence.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 189, no 1-4, 23-48 p.
Keyword [en]
literary narrative, presence, immersion, imagery, sensorimotor simulation, description
National Category
General Literature Studies
Research subject
Literature; Linguistics; Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-75946DOI: 10.1515/semi.2011.071ISI: 000304334200002OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-75946DiVA: diva2:525057
Available from: 2012-05-04 Created: 2012-05-04 Last updated: 2017-12-07Bibliographically approved

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