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"Talking brought me here": affordances of fiction for the narrative self

Jones, Raya Abigail ORCID: 2010. "Talking brought me here": affordances of fiction for the narrative self. Theory & Psychology 20 (4) , pp. 549-567. 10.1177/0959354310361406

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This essay considers the role that the literary experience may play in furthering fiction readers’ self-understanding. Although not everyone reads literary fiction, and fewer may claim to have been highly influenced by a literary work, the psychological phenomenon could reveal something about the reflexivity of self-construction that would not be detected by theorizing about the self solely on the basis of analysing self-narratives. Three main propositions are stated and expanded: (a) defining “narrative” for the purpose of analysing self-narratives understates features central for the literary experience; (b) certain aspects of the “feeling” response apply to the literary experience but not to autobiographical telling—for example, Freud’s essay “The ‘Uncanny’” and the Jungian concept of the numinous are instructive here; and (c) the literary experience can have special liminal affordances for the narrative self, enabling the channelling of subsequent self-narratives.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
Uncontrolled Keywords: History; Literature; Narrative Psychology; Scholarship; theory
Publisher: SAGE
ISSN: 0959-3543
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2022 08:34

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