Embodied mind and cross-cultural narrative patterns

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The fairy tales collected by the Brothers Grimm are important because of their influence on literary socialization in East Asia. Following a brief survey of the translation history of the tales, I analyze their structure in relation to the characteristics of children’s thinking, and suggest that the prototype experience of the fictional world corresponds to the conceptual structure of narrative patterns in the reader’s mind. I argue that this interaction derives from embodied cognition, which acts as one of the roots of universal understanding of narratives. The results from an empirical study of cross-cultural reading responses demonstrate how plot prediction and, especially, spatial imagination about Grimms’ tales display this embodied cognition.


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