[Scientific Study of Literature 1:1] 2011
► pp. 144–152
There must be more to reading than just text comprehension — stories are to entertain, Brewer and Lichtenstein (1984) famously proclaimed. Hence, they said, research should focus more on how stories do that. What are the implications of this statement? Could that knowledge be of interest to people outside academia? For example, could it result in guidelines for writing bestsellers and blockbuster scripts? Some would suggest that there is more to literary stories than just entertainment. One of the many things this journal could do for the world is find out what exactly this may be. To do this we should extend our knowledge about what distinguishes the processing of literary stories from that of narratives in other genres and media. Here it will be argued that the emotional and cognitive processes typically found in literary reading may offer profound improvements of our lives and the world, and more so than better results at the box office would.
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