Literature and emotions: creating emotion effects and affecting readers

    Project Details

    Description

    The highly prominent issue of emotions in literature
    is given impetus by the recent interest in cognitive emotion studies. The contribution of literary studies
    with its expertise in rhetoric and poetics is very much needed to avoid treating literary emotions as
    simple mirror-images of our everyday emotions. Our project suggests refocusing the study towards
    the value-laden and ideologically shaped elements in the rhetorical make-up of the texts. Furthermore,
    it extends the study beyond the emotions of characters and readers’ (empathic) reactions to them to
    explore the multiple other ways by which literature has an emotional impact on its audience. Any
    element of the story world, the points of view, the language itself and the tone (or mood) participate
    in creating what we call emotion effects. These are the effects that literary texts trigger on authorial
    audiences. Most importantly, we focus on the ways by which literary presentations create and shape
    social and “public” (possibly collective) emotions and frame our experience. We explore
    underresearched areas and neglected emotions, especially so-called ugly feelings (Ngai 2005).
    Insights from the multidisciplinary field of emotion studies and cognitive poetics will inform the
    project. The cooperation within the research community for the study of affectivity in language and
    literature in HU will bring added interdisciplinary value.
    StatusFinished
    Effective start/end date01/01/201531/12/2018