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When Fiction Feels Real – Representation and the Reading Mind - Oxford Scholarship Online
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When Fiction Feels Real: Representation and the Reading Mind

Elaine Auyoung


This book explores questions that are central to literary experience but remain difficult for critics to explain, such as how novels can seem to transport readers to fictional worlds that feel real, why literary characters can come to seem like intimate friends, and what is uniquely pleasurable about reading fiction. By drawing on psychological research on reading and cognition, this book provides literary studies with a new set of tools for analyzing the relationship between narrative technique and the phenomenology of reading. Focusing on classic novels by Leo Tolstoy, Jane Austen, Charles D ... More

Keywords: reading, aesthetics, phenomenology, fiction, mimesis, realism, novel, nineteenth century, cognitive psychology, narrative

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2018 Print ISBN-13: 9780190845476
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2018 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190845476.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Elaine Auyoung, author
McKnight Land-Grant Professor and Assistant Professor of English, University of Minnesota