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Cognitive Alice: Lewis Carroll’s Alice Books in Dialogue with Narratology

Arnavas, Francesca (2018) Cognitive Alice: Lewis Carroll’s Alice Books in Dialogue with Narratology. PhD thesis, University of York.

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This dissertation’s main purpose is twofold, on the one hand it gives new insights into the construction and meaning of Lewis Carroll’s Alice books, on the other hand it makes a contribution to the field of cognitive narratology, furnishing a complete practical example of the application of cognitive narratology’s tools to a relevant literary work. I take the Alice books as a case study to illuminate the working of cognitive narratology as an interdisciplinary project, relying both on classical narrative studies and on methods taken from the cognitive field. This focus also serves a synthetic view of cognitive narratology itself, which is in its essence a combination of the revaluation of classic narrative concepts and the introduction of new ones. A useful theoretical concept to give a general understanding of my methodology as the tying together of different overlapping approaches, is the idea of the Alice books as a cognitive playground, a huge mental landscape where different intellectual suggestions and speculations coexist with experientiality and affections. Wonderland and the Looking-Glass land are thus presented as fantastical cognitive playgrounds where different minds interact with each other creating the big and complex aesthetic space of the literary text. Each of my chapters examines a specific topic in relation to the minds of the author, the readers and the characters. After a preface and a first chapter outlining the main theoretical currents of cognitive narratology and pointing out the special fit of the Alice books for this kind of analysis, the subsequent chapters are: “Virtual Alice”, “Mirrored Alice”, “Emotional Alice”, and “Unnatural Alice”, each of them offering different, although interconnected, insights into the peculiar dialogue which can be established between the Alices and the cognitive narratological approach.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of York > English and Related Literature (York)
Depositing User: Miss Francesca Arnavas
Date Deposited: 03 Dec 2018 16:27
Last Modified: 03 Dec 2018 16:27
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/22070

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