Chapter published in:The Construction of Discourse as Verbal Interaction
Edited by María de los Ángeles Gómez González and J. Lachlan Mackenzie
[Pragmatics & Beyond New Series 296] 2018
► pp. 251–272
Empathy versus engagement
A storyworld possible selves approach to narrative discourse
This study uses one of Hemingway’s very short stories (“The shooting of the six Greek cabinet ministers”, 1924) to explore the connections between narrative engagement, emotion and the linguistic organization of narratives. The analysis is developed within the framework of storyworld possible selves (SPSs) (Martínez 2012, 2014, 2018) or blends of readers’ self-concept and the character construct of a narrative perspectivizer, be it the narrator or a focalizing character. In Hemingway’s story, emotions may seem to emerge from empathy towards the executed ministers; however, a closer look at the language of reference and deixis suggests that engagement and emotion are connected to the ethical conflict resulting from SPS blending and perspectival alignment with their executioners.
Keywords: narrative engagement, storyworld possible selves, empathy, blending theory, double-scope blending, narrative ethics, cognitive stylistics
Published online: 20 September 2018
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