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Zunshine's surprising new interpretations of well-known literary texts and popular cultural representations constantly prod her listeners to rethink their own interest in fictional narrative. Written for a general audience, this study provides a jargon-free introduction to the rapidly growing interdisciplinary field known as cognitive approaches to literature and culture.
The book is published by The Ohio State University Press.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Matt on 11-11-13
Theory of the Reader
Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?
Not really. I was looking forward to learning about theory of mind, particulary as it relates to fiction, but the presentation of the book was so monotone, and so clinical in its delivery, that I frequently lost interest in the direction it was moving. Ironically, you would think a book about deciphering what another person is thinking/perceiving would do a better job of reaching out to the reader.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
By Sparky McGhee on 05-20-13
Classic in the 'cognitive turn' in the humanities
If you could sum up Why We Read Fiction: Theory of Mind and the Novel in three words, what would they be?
This book explains why we can read fictional minds in a similar way that we can read real minds.
What was one of the most memorable moments of Why We Read Fiction: Theory of Mind and the Novel?
I think the reading of Samuel Richardson's "Clarissa" is the best section.
Which character – as performed by Rosemary Benson – was your favorite?
It is a work of nonfiction, so this question is not applicable.
If you could rename Why We Read Fiction: Theory of Mind and the Novel, what would you call it?
I think the title is pretty good. I wouldn't change it.
Any additional comments?
If you ever wondered what cognitive science has to say about literary criticism, this book is a great place to start. I think it helps if you have read the texts discussed -- Richardson's "Clarissa" and Nabokov's "Lolita" would be particularly helpful, but you can follow along even if you have not read these novels. She also discusses theory of mind in detective fiction. You can also buy the ebook on Amazon for $1.99, I think, if you like to follow along while you are listening. This is a really fascinanating subject and I know this title is very influential in the field of narratology.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful