The Art of Sympathy in Fiction

Forms of ethical and emotional persuasion

| University of Helsinki
HardboundAvailable
ISBN 9789027233509 | EUR 99.00 | USD 149.00
 
e-Book
ISBN 9789027272201 | EUR 99.00 | USD 149.00
 
By taking an interdisciplinary approach — with methods drawn from narratology, aesthetics, social psychology, education, and the empirical study of literature — The Art of Sympathy in Fiction will interest scholars in a variety of fields. Its focus is the sympathetic effects of stories, and the possible ways these feelings can contribute to what has been called the “moral imagination.” Part I examines the dynamics of readers’ beliefs regarding fictional characters and the influence of those impressions on the emotions that readers experience. The book then turns its attention to sympathy, providing a comprehensive definition and considering the ways in which it operates in life and in literature. Part I concludes with a discussion of the narratological and rhetorical features of fictional narratives that theoretically elicit sympathy in readers. Part II applies these theories to four stories that persuade readers to sympathize with characters who seem unsympathetic. Finally, based on empirical findings from the responses of adolescent readers, Part III considers pedagogical approaches that can help students reflect on emotional experiences that result from reading fiction.
[Linguistic Approaches to Literature, 15]  2013.  xiv, 192 pp.
Publishing status: Available
Table of Contents
v–vi
Acknowledgments
xi–xiv
Introduction
1–6
Part I. Sympathy and narrative
1. Believable fictions: On the nature of emotional responses to fictional characters
9–22
2. Defining sympathy: Experiential and ethical dimensions
23–46
3. Forms of persuasion: Narrative approaches to the construction of reader sympathy
47–60
Part II. Literary critical and empirical case studies
4. Varieties of narrative sympathy: Two preliminary case studies
63–88
5. Shades of sympathy: The limits and possibilities of identification in Bambara’s “The Hammer Man”
89–124
6. Sympathetic “grotesque”: The dynamics of feeling in Sherwood Anderson’s “Hands”
125–150
Part III. Sympathy in the classroom
7. Narrative as experience: The pedagogical implications of sympathizing with fictional characters
153–164
8. Conclusion
165–172
References
173–185
Index
187–192
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Subjects

Literature & Literary Studies

Theoretical literature & literary studies
BIC Subject: CFG – Semantics, Pragmatics, Discourse Analysis
BISAC Subject: LAN005000 – LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Composition & Creative Writing
U.S. Library of Congress Control Number:  2012046162