A Claim on the Reader1


in Imaginative Minds

Published by British Academy

Published in print December 2007 | ISBN: 9780197264195
Published online February 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191734540 | DOI:

Series: Proceedings of the British Academy

A Claim on the Reader1

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This chapter discusses the impact of narratives on the imaginative faculties of the readers. Imaginative engagement with a narrative has two aspects: what is to be imagined from the narratives and how it is imagined. The second aspect requires the notion of a point of view wherein readers imagine the events of the story from a certain vantage point, which involves eliciting certain kinds of responses to the events and to the characters who act them out. Narratives have the capacity to prescribe a certain point of view just as they are able to enforce what is to be imagined. This capacity to prescribe specific point of view is done not through explicit direction but rather through the expressive nature of the narratives. In this chapter, the focus is on the many relevant factors that motivate the readers to imitate or adopt the point of view offered by the authors or the narratives. It examines the tendency of readers to respond imitatively to their own imaginative construction of the author’s mind.

Keywords: narratives; readers; imaginative engagement; point of view; story; events; characters; imitation; authors

Chapter.  8814 words. 

Subjects: Cognitive Psychology

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