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Kinesic Humor – Literature, Embodied Cognition, and the Dynamics of Gesture - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Kinesic Humor: Literature, Embodied Cognition, and the Dynamics of Gesture

Guillemette Bolens


Literature is one of the richest sources of information concerning the ways in which human beings are able to play with cognition. According to the theory of embodied cognition, human cognition is grounded in sensorimotricity, i.e., the ability to feel, perceive, and move. The pervading cognitive process called perceptual simulation, which is activated when we cognitively process a gesture in a real-life situation, is also recruited when we read about actions, movements, and gestures in texts. Kinesic Humor examines literary works written by major authors—including Chrétien de Troyes, Cervante ... More

Keywords: cognition, gesture, humor, Chrétien de Troyes, Miguel de Cervantes, John Milton, Laurence Sterne, Saint-Simon, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Stendhal

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2021 Print ISBN-13: 9780190930066
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2021 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190930066.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Guillemette Bolens, author
Professor of Medieval and Comparative Literature, University of Geneva

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