Chapter published in:Experiencing Fictional Worlds
Edited by Benedict Neurohr and Lizzie Stewart-Shaw
[Linguistic Approaches to Literature 32] 2019
► pp. 157–175
Immersive reading and the unnatural text-worlds of “Dead Fish”
In this chapter I present a Text World Theory analysis of Adam Marek’s emotionally charged dystopian short story, “Dead Fish”, which takes for its focus a possible future world recovering from environmental disaster. Drawing upon naturalistic reader response data in support of my own introspective analysis, I investigate the estranging experience of reading this particular narrative and discuss the readerly process of interpreting its defamiliarising world-building elements. Analytical focus is placed upon the responses of a purpose-built reading group (comprising four postgraduate research students from the University of Sheffield), who compare their conceptualisation of particular entities within the text-world, and reflect upon their understanding of such entities as “unnatural”. Through a combined application of narratological approaches to unnatural narration (Alber and Heinze 2013) and a Text World Theory perspective (Gavins 2007; Werth 1999), I investigate how readers respond to unnatural narration and draw several connections between readerly immersion and the emotional experience of reading unnatural texts.
Keywords: Text World Theory, reader response, dystopian short stories, Adam Marek, unnatural narration, immersion
Published online: 21 February 2019
Alber, J., Iversen, S., Skov Nielsen, H. and Richardson, B.
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Peplow, D., Swann, J., Trimarco, P. and Whiteley, S.
Rapp, D. N. and Gerrig, R. J.
Swann, J. and Allington, D.
Cited by 4 other publications
Corbitt, Alex, Jon M. Wargo & Clare O’Connor
This list is based on CrossRef data as of 27 december 2021. Please note that it may not be complete. Sources presented here have been supplied by the respective publishers. Any errors therein should be reported to them.