Cognitive poetics and the negotiation of knowledge

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Cognitive poetics is a movement in literary theory that researches the cognitive processes involved in understanding literary texts. Mostly, this research results in models of how processes of comprehension work in the minds of human beings. This chapter investigates the relationship of text understanding with the formation of knowledge on the basis of narrative fiction. The central question addressed is which cognitive processes of text understanding are involved in and contribute to the formation of knowledge about an extra-literary field on the basis of narrative fiction. Two tutor texts that enable an especially fruitful discussion of this question in the exemplary field of knowledge of cognition are David Lodge’s novel Thinks… (2001) and Richard Powers’s novel Galatea 2.2 (1995).


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