Chapter published in:Experiencing Fictional Worlds
Edited by Benedict Neurohr and Lizzie Stewart-Shaw
[Linguistic Approaches to Literature 32] 2019
► pp. 53–72
World-building as cognitive feedback loop
Text World Theory (Gavins 2007; Werth 1999) has traditionally assumed a unidirectional model of knowledge transmission from discourse-world to text-world. In this chapter I follow Troscianko (2017) to suggest that world-building in discourse occurs within a cognitive feedback loop in which existing knowledge is applied toward the construction of a text-world network, and new information feeds from this network back into the minds of readers. In what follows, I demonstrate the utility of a feedback-loop approach in accounting for knowledge accrual in discourse through a case-study analysis of Canadian author Sheldon Currie’s (1995) novella The Glace Bay Miners’ Museum. I argue that Currie’s rhetorical positioning of the reader as the recipient of a highly politicised subtext at two levels of the discourse results in the incorporation of new or modified knowledge into a reader’s knowledge base.
Keywords: Canadian literature, cognitive feedback loop, Sheldon Currie, discourse-worlds, knowledge, Text World Theory, The Glace Bay Miners’ Museum , world-building
Published online: 21 February 2019
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Cited by 1 other publications
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