Literary Narrative and Mental Imagery: A View from Embodied Cognition

Style 48 (3):275-293 (2014)
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The objective of this article is twofold. In the first part, I discuss two issues central to any theoretical inquiry into mental imagery: embodiment and consciousness. I do so against the backdrop of second-generation cognitive science, more specifically the increasingly popular research framework of embodied cognition, and I consider two caveats attached to its current exploitation in narrative theory. In the second part, I attempt to cast new light on readerly mental imagery by offering a typology of what I propose to be its four basic varieties. The typology is grounded in the framework of embodied cognition and it is largely compatible with key neuroscientific and other experimental evidence produced within the framework. For each imagery variety, I make some elementary suggestions as to how it may typically be cued by distinct narrative strategies.
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