Neohelicon

, Volume 35, Issue 1, pp 121–133 | Cite as

Objects and literary emotion: Memory and phenomena in cognitive poetics

Speculum
  • 247 Downloads

Abstract

This paper will explore recent developments in cognitive poetics’ research and theorizing about how memory is triggered by provoking phenomena to induce emotions in literary reading and viewing of film and television. In short, cognitive research shows that objects, whether still or part of a narrative action, prime and trigger personal experience which allows one to understand the situation and feel deeply for fictional characters and unfamiliar people in general.

In terms of poetics or interpretation in general, this cognitive research into memory is important for a variety of reasons: First, it investigates how objects are acted upon by subjective memory to produce a response or “reading” of a situation, literary or otherwise. This perturbation of subjective memory through emotional objects conjures up issues crossing philosophy, cultural theory, and the social sciences. The phenomenology of twentieth-century philosophy (e.g. Husserl, Heidegger) moves toward the field of neurophenomenology and cognitive research into not only the emotions, but the relationships of objects and subjectivity, as well as cognitive focus and foregrounding in interpretative processes. Second, the study of cognitive poetics or cognitive linguistics in general must account for object, subjectivity, and emotion inside of narrative schemas, not just a frozen, object-driven world. Third, thy cognitive research into memory, selection, and triggered emotion complicates the notion of paratext and therein text by showing that focus/ foregrounding are selective, or at least variable, from person to person. Fourth, the differences between print-bound literature and filmic/visual literature call into play various notions of paratext, yet research proves that triggered memories function the same way for the subject whether the text is print-bound or filmic.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Works cited

  1. Dimasio, Antonio. Descartes’ Error: Emotion, Reason, and the Human Brain. New York, London: Penguin, 1994.Google Scholar
  2. Dimasio, Antonio. The Feeling of What Happens. New York: Harvest, 2000.Google Scholar
  3. Dimasio, Antonio and Immordino-Yang, Mary Helen. “We Feel, Therefore We Learn: The Relevance of Affective and Social Neuroscience To Education.” Mind, Brain, and Education 1.1. (March 2007): 3–10.Google Scholar
  4. Fauconnier, Gilles and Turner, Mark. The Way We Think: Conceptual Blending and the Mind’s Hidden Complexities. New York: Perseus, 2002.Google Scholar
  5. Gibbs, Raymond. Embodiment and Cognitive Science. Cambridge: Cambridge U.P., 2006.Google Scholar
  6. Hogan, Patrick Colm. Cognitive Science, Literature, and the Arts: A Guide for Humanists. New York and London: Routledge, 2003.Google Scholar
  7. Miall, David. “Emotion and the Self: The Context of Remembering.” British Journal of Psychology 77 (1986): 389–397.Google Scholar
  8. Miall, David. Literary Reading. Empirical and Theoretical Studies. New York: Peter Lang Publishing, 2006.Google Scholar
  9. Miall, David and Kuiken, D. “What is Literariness? Three Components of Literary Reading.” Poetics 25 (1998): 327–341.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Oatley, Keith. Best Laid Schemes: The Psychology of Emotions. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1992.Google Scholar
  11. Oatley, Keith. “Emotions and the Story Worlds of Fiction.” In: Brock, T. C., Strange, J. J. and Green, M. C. (eds) Narrative Impact: Social and Cognitive Foundations. Mahweh, NJ: Erlbaum, 2002. 39–69.Google Scholar
  12. Oatley, Keith. “Writingandreading: the future of cognitive poetics.” In: Gavins, Joanna and Steen, Gerard (eds) Cognitive Poetics in Practice. London, New York: Routledge, 2003. 161–173.Google Scholar
  13. Stockwell, Peter. Cognitive Poetics: An Introduction. London, New York: Routledge, 2002.Google Scholar
  14. Tan, Ed. S. Emotion and the Structure of Narrative Film: Film as an Emotion Machine. Trans. Barbara Fasting. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1996.Google Scholar
  15. Tan, Ed. S. and Frija, Nico. “Sentiment in Film Viewing.” In: Plantinga, Carl and Smith, Greg M. (eds) Passionate Views. Film, Cognition, and Emotion. Baltimore: John Hopkins U.P., 1999. 48–64.Google Scholar
  16. Tsur, Reuven. “Aspects of Cognitive Poetics.” In: Semino, Elena and Culpepper, Jonathan (eds) Cognitive Stylistics: Language and Cognition in Text Analysis. Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Company, 2002. 279–318.Google Scholar
  17. Turner, Mark. Reading Minds. Princeton, NJ: Princeton U.P., 1991.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.LafayetteUSA

Personalised recommendations