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How Authors' Minds Make Stories


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  • Date Published: December 2014
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107475892

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About the Authors
  • This book explores how the creations of great authors result from the same operations as our everyday counterfactual and hypothetical imaginations, which cognitive scientists refer to as 'simulations'. Drawing on detailed literary analyses as well as recent research in neuroscience and related fields, Patrick Colm Hogan develops a rigorous theory of the principles governing simulation that goes beyond any existing framework. He examines the functions and mechanisms of narrative imagination, with particular attention to the role of theory of mind, and relates this analysis to narrative universals. In the course of this theoretical discussion, Hogan explores works by Austen, Faulkner, Shakespeare, Racine, Brecht, Kafka and Calvino. He pays particular attention to the principles and parameters defining an author's narrative idiolect, examining the cognitive and emotional continuities that span an individual author's body of work.

    • Integrates the cognitive theory of simulation with the study of literary imagination
    • Illuminates the operation of theory of mind simulation in character development and relates both to the particularization of universal narrative structures
    • Develops new understandings of the creative principles behind the works of such authors as William Shakespeare and Jean Racine
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    • A Choice Outstanding Academic Title, 2013

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    Product details

    • Date Published: December 2014
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107475892
    • length: 250 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 14 mm
    • weight: 0.37kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction: from the universal to the particular
    1. Simulation: imagining fictional worlds in Faulkner and Austen
    2. Story development, literary evaluation, and the place of character
    3. A narrative idiolect: Shakespeare's heroic stories
    4. Principles and parameters of storytelling: the trajectory of Racine's romantic tragedies
    5. Argument and metaphor in Brecht and Kafka
    6. Emplotment: selection, organization, and construal in Hamlet
    Afterword: if on a winter's night a narrator ….

  • Author

    Patrick Colm Hogan, University of Connecticut
    Patrick Colm Hogan is a professor in the Department of English and of the programs in Cognitive Science, Comparative Literature and Comparative Studies, and India Studies at the University of Connecticut. He is the author of fifteen books, including The Mind and its Stories and What Literature Teaches Us about Emotion, and the editor of The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the Language Sciences.


    • A Choice Outstanding Academic Title, 2013

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