Aspects of Literary Comprehension

A cognitive approach

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Given the fact that there are widely different types of text, it is unlikely that every text is processed in the same way. It is assumed here that for each text type, proficient readers have developed a particular cognitive control system, which regulates the basic operations of text comprehension. The book focuses on the comprehension of literary texts, which involves specific cognitive strategies that enable the reader to respond flexibly to the indeterminacies of the literary reading situation. The study relies heavily on methods and theoretical conceptions from cognitive psychology and presents the results of experiments carried out with real readers. The results are not only relevant to research problems in literary theory, but also to the study of discourse comprehension in general.

Subjects: Theoretical literature & literary studies

  • Affiliations: 1: University of Utrecht

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