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Text world theory and the emotional experience of literary discourse.

Whiteley, Sara (2010) Text world theory and the emotional experience of literary discourse. PhD thesis, University of Sheffield.

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Abstract

This thesis investigates the emotional experience of literary discourse from a cognitivepoetic perspective. In doing so, it combines detailed Text World Theory analysis with an examination of naturalistic reader response data in the form of book group discussions and internet postings. Three novels by contemporary author Kazuo Ishiguro form the analytical focus of this investigation: The Remains of the Dt!)' (1989), The Unconso/ed (1995) and Never Let Me Go (2005), chosen due to their thematic engagement with emotion and their ability to evoke emotion in readers. The central aims of this thesis are to develop cognitive-poetic understanding of the emotional experience of literature, and to advance cognitive-poetic and literary-critical understanding of the works of Ishiguro. As a result of the analytical investigations of the three novels, this thesis proposes several enhancements to the discourse-world level of the Text World Theory framework. In particular, this thesis argues for a more detailed and nuanced account of deictic projection and identification, proposes a means of including readers' hopes and preferences in text-world analyses, and reconceptualises processes of knowledge activation as inherently emotional. Detailed, cognitive-poetic analyses of Ishiguro's novels elucidate literary-critical observations regarding Ishiguro's shifting style, and present new insights into the cognitive and emotional aspects of the interaction between the texts and their readers. This thesis aims primarily to be a contribution to the fields of stylistics and cognitive poetics. It approaches this theoretically through the application and enhancement of cognitive poetic frameworks, analytically through the investigation of Ishiguro, and methodologically through the utilisation of reader response data in order to direct and support the investigations. However, incidental contributions are also made to cognitive and social emotion theories, and the discussion raises several suggestions for continued interdisciplinary research in the future.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Arts and Humanities (Sheffield) > School of English (Sheffield)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.527271
Depositing User: EThOS Import Sheffield
Date Deposited: 06 Jan 2017 15:45
Last Modified: 06 Jan 2017 15:45
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/15112

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