Identification and Resistance

Peter Stockwell

in Texture - A Cognitive Aesthetics of Reading

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print September 2005 | ISBN: 9780748625819
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748651511 | DOI:
Identification and Resistance

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This chapter develops a broadly text world theoretical account of the conceptual attachment that readers make with literary works, in order further to specify the nature of the reader-text complex and its cognitive dynamics. The notion of identification is crucial as a means of capturing the nature of the relationship that is created between a reader and perceived entities in a text, developing the discussion of reader-character vectors in Chapter 4. However, this term is not without its difficulties, and it is necessary in the discussion to consider the assumptions about personality that underlie different approaches to literary readerliness. The chapter considers examples of sympathetic readerly construction, where the experience of reading the literary work seems to be mutually reinforcing. It also considers the contrary scenario where there is a disjunction between readerly disposition and the apparent disposition adopted by the literary text, where there is a sense of resistance in the reader towards the perceived ethos of the work.

Keywords: conceptual attachment; readers; reader-text complex; personality; literary readerliness; readerly disposition

Chapter.  16061 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Linguistics

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