The Importance of Being Emotional

Jenefer Robinson

in Deeper than Reason

Published in print April 2005 | ISBN: 9780199263653
Published online February 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780191603211 | DOI:
The Importance of Being Emotional

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Emotional reactions to great works of (especially realistic) literature can be indispensable to a proper understanding of the work. Unless we laugh and cry in the right places, we haven't really understood what we're reading. This theme is developed specifically in relation to understanding characters, which is a sine qua non of understanding a novel. Understanding characters in great realistic novels such as Tolstoy's Anna Karenina is relevantly like understanding real people and understanding real people requires emotional understanding, not just a dispassionate grasp of their character and motives.

Keywords: emotional understanding; literature; Anna Karenina; realistic novel; characters

Chapter.  12243 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art

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