9781412810227

Memory, Metaphors, and Meaning: Processing Ideas

by
  • ISBN13:

    9781412810227

  • ISBN10:

    1412810221

  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2009-07-15
  • Publisher: Routledge
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Summary

Literature explores the human condition, the mystery of the world, life and death, as well as our relations with others, and our desires and dreams. It differs from science in its aims and methods, but Babuts shows, in other respects literature has much common ground with science. Both aim for an authentic version of truth. To this end, literature employs metaphors, and it does so in a manner similar to that of scientific inquiry. Cognitive science views of literature see a one-to-one correlation between the world and text, in which meaning belongs to the author, and literature is equivalent to perception. It maintains that meaning is crucially dependent on memory and that without it, the world remains meaningless. Babuts claims that at the interface with the printed page, readers process texts in a manner similar to the way they explain the visible world: in segments or units of meaning, or dynamic patterns. Babuts argues that humans achieve recognition by integrating stimulus sequences with corresponding patterns that recognize and interpret each segment of a text. Memory produces meaning from these patterns. In harmony with its goals, memory may adopt specific strategies to deal with different stimuli. Dynamic patterns link the unit of processing with the unit of meaning. In sum, Babuts proposes that meaning is achieved through metaphors and narrative, and that both are ways to reach cognitive goals. This original study offers perspectives that will interest cognitive psychologists, as well as those simply interested in the process through which literature stirs the human imagination.

Table of Contents

Introductionp. xiii
Literary Dynamic Patternsp. 1
The Beginning of Interpretationp. 47
Reading Poetryp. 59
The Allure of Mythp. 79
Beginnings and Endingsp. 101
Metaphoric Fields: Blaga, Melville, and Leopardip. 131
The Tonality of Metaphoric Fieldsp. 159
Concluding Remarksp. 177
Notesp. 183
Referencesp. 199
Indexp. 213
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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