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Introduction

  • Anna Veprinska
Chapter
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Part of the Palgrave Studies in Affect Theory and Literary Criticism book series (PSATLC)

Abstract

The Introduction acquaints the reader with the book’s argument and the theoretical and methodological frameworks that inform this argument. The opening briefly considers empathy’s prevalence in culture and literature and then sets out my addition to the field: the concept of empathetic dissonance. The first section, “The Permeability of Terms,” outlines the history of empathy in the context of empathy’s lexical precursors—sympathy, compassion, pity, and identification, among others—and offers my book’s definition of empathy. The next section, “The Benefits and Dangers of Empathy,” considers the positive and negative aspects of empathy. The third section, “The Poetry of Empathetic Dissonance after Three Contemporary Crises,” puts into conversation empathy, poetry, and the three crises the book considers—the Holocaust, 9/11, and Hurricane Katrina. The Introduction ends with a discussion of the ensuing chapters.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anna Veprinska
    • 1
  1. 1.York UniversityTorontoCanada

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