Why literary devices matter

Polish Journal of Aesthetics 60 (1):19-37 (2021)
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Abstract

This paper investigates the emotional import of literary devices deployed in fiction. Reflecting on the often-favored approach in the analytic tradition that locates fictional characters, events, and narratives as sources of readers’ emotions, I attempt to broaden the scope of analysis by accounting for how literary devices trigger non-cognitive emotions. I argue that giving more expansive consideration to literary devices by which authors present content facilitates a better understanding of how fiction engages emotion. In doing so, I also explore the somatic dimension of reading fiction.

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Ka Chung Lorraine Yeung
Hong Kong Baptist University

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