Creative Dynamics

Diagrammatic strategies in narrative

Christina Ljungberg | University of Zurich
ISBN 9789027243478 | EUR 90.00 | USD 135.00
ISBN 9789027273222 | EUR 90.00 | USD 135.00
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How do readers make sense of a picture, a photograph, or a map in literary narratives in which visual signs play a critical role? How do authors accomplish their various objectives in constructing such complex texts? What strategies and techniques do they use to project fictional worlds and to provide their readers with the means for orienting themselves there? This book investigates the dynamics of the imaginary diagrams created by cartographers, photographers, and writers of narratives, giving ample evidence of how mapping practices have inspired the imagination of a vast number of authors from Thomas More up to contemporary writers. A special focus is on the effects created by the projection of photographs into the narrative space, and how our seemingly effortless interpretation of photographs and even maps masks complex cognitive processes. The theoretical horizon of this study encompasses the fields of cartography, mental maps, iconicity research, and the spatial turn in cultural studies.
[Iconicity in Language and Literature, 11] 2012.  vii, 190 pp.
Publishing status: Available
Table of Contents
“Christina Ljungberg offers a grand tour of mental spaces created by literary narratives. She explores the signs of real and imaginary territories as well as classical and contemporary depictions of rural, urban, and maritime realms. Ljungberg examines the devices of cartographic writing and discovers mappings and re-mappings in writings from Thomas More to postcolonial novelists. The analytic panorama resulting from her investigations give ample support to her main thesis, namely that imaginary spaces are mental diagrams.”
“This well-illustrated study brings together two fresh approaches for an understanding of the modern novel: iconicity studies and cartography. Casting new light on the role played by maps and photographs in fiction of the past three centuries, it is a pleasure to read.”
“Too often, theory hangs in the air, swinging at a distance from any entanglement with concrete matters, while no less frequently singular texts and their historical settings are left unduly opaque because insufficiently theorized. In contrast, this book illuminates photography (light writing) and contextualizes cartography (‘map writing’) in an arresting manner. Christina Ljungberg stops readers in their tracks, forcing them to think anew about familiar topics and to consider carefully what is typically overlooked. But this book is itself a map of a complex terrain, hence a means by which we can orient ourselves to nothing less than the world of texts, maps, and photographs. It facilitates exploration, at every turn inviting us to take a path we would likely have missed but for the author's intimate familiarity with a vast landscape and, of equal relevance, her deft skill at cultural cartography.”
“This fresh investigation of maps in fictional works makes clear how high-canon literature is multimodal, just as basic human communication is. Ljungberg clarifies the cognitive operations we use to make sense of verbal and visual diagrams in literature and culture. The result is a penetrating and insightful study at the intersection of cognitive science and the arts.”
Cited by

Cited by 8 other publications

Bushell, Sally
2020. Reading and Mapping Fiction, DOI logo
Conley, Tom
2017. Deleuze and the Baroque diagram. In Dimensions of Iconicity [Iconicity in Language and Literature, 15], DOI logo
Igl, Natalia
2019. Chapter 6. Framing the narrative. In Experiencing Fictional Worlds [Linguistic Approaches to Literature, 32],  pp. 97 ff. DOI logo
Ljungberg, Christina
2015. Cartosemiotics. In International Handbook of Semiotics,  pp. 759 ff. DOI logo
Pelkey, Jamin
2021. Zhuangzi, Peirce, and the butterfly dreamscape: concentric meaning in the Qiwulun 齊物論. Chinese Semiotic Studies 17:2  pp. 255 ff. DOI logo
Pelkey, Jamin
2022. Tonal iconicity and narrative transformation. In Iconicity in Cognition and across Semiotic Systems [Iconicity in Language and Literature, 18],  pp. 135 ff. DOI logo
Smid, Robert
2018. On Cartographic Techniques in Literature. Zeitschrift für Anglistik und Amerikanistik 66:2  pp. 221 ff. DOI logo
[no author supplied]
2013. Books of Critical Interest. Critical Inquiry 39:3  pp. 639 ff. DOI logo

This list is based on CrossRef data as of 16 march 2024. Please note that it may not be complete. Sources presented here have been supplied by the respective publishers. Any errors therein should be reported to them.


Communication Studies

Communication Studies

Literature & Literary Studies

Theoretical literature & literary studies

Main BIC Subject

CFG: Semantics, Pragmatics, Discourse Analysis

Main BISAC Subject

LAN009000: LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / General
ONIX Metadata
ONIX 2.1
ONIX 3.0
U.S. Library of Congress Control Number:  2012027509 | Marc record