Point of view and mental imagery in literature
This work explores a long-standing debate on how readers of literary texts visualize written events in their mind’s eye using an innovative cross-disciplinary approach. The central question is to what extent language can guide the reader’s imagination, so that specific descriptions of scenes lead to specific mental images.
The work draws on an experiment that presented Dutch and English literary fragments and asked participants to immediately draw the scene in their mind, along with the viewpoint from where they felt they witnessed the event(s). The discussion is informed by work of Fowler and more recent theoretical and empirical language-based studies in the field. Models of embodied cognitive science further support explanations of the discrepancies in readers’ drawings, which advocates for new ways to study meaning construction in linguistic expressions with interdisciplinary methods.
This book is relevant for fields of stylistics, cognitive psychology, rhetoric, philosophy, and embodied cognition.
You can find the book here.