The Art of Sympathy in Fiction

Forms of ethical and emotional persuasion

Howard Sklar | University of Helsinki
ISBN 9789027233509 | EUR 99.00 | USD 149.00
ISBN 9789027272201 | EUR 99.00 | USD 149.00
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By taking an interdisciplinary approach — with methods drawn from narratology, aesthetics, social psychology, education, and the empirical study of literature — The Art of Sympathy in Fiction will interest scholars in a variety of fields. Its focus is the sympathetic effects of stories, and the possible ways these feelings can contribute to what has been called the “moral imagination.” Part I examines the dynamics of readers’ beliefs regarding fictional characters and the influence of those impressions on the emotions that readers experience. The book then turns its attention to sympathy, providing a comprehensive definition and considering the ways in which it operates in life and in literature. Part I concludes with a discussion of the narratological and rhetorical features of fictional narratives that theoretically elicit sympathy in readers. Part II applies these theories to four stories that persuade readers to sympathize with characters who seem unsympathetic. Finally, based on empirical findings from the responses of adolescent readers, Part III considers pedagogical approaches that can help students reflect on emotional experiences that result from reading fiction.
[Linguistic Approaches to Literature, 15] 2013.  xiv, 192 pp.
Publishing status: Available
Table of Contents
Cited by

Cited by 26 other publications

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2020. Another London, another point of view: the use of defamiliarisation to elicit empathy in the reader for the white working-class protagonist inAnother Londonand their ‘real-world’ equivalents. New Writing 17:3  pp. 272 ff. DOI logo
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2023. Extinction Stories Matter: The Impact of Narrative Representations of Endangered Species Across Media. ISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment 30:4  pp. 846 ff. DOI logo
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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.


Literature & Literary Studies

Theoretical literature & literary studies

Main BIC Subject

CFG: Semantics, Pragmatics, Discourse Analysis

Main BISAC Subject

LAN005050: LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Writing / Fiction Writing
ONIX Metadata
ONIX 2.1
ONIX 3.0
U.S. Library of Congress Control Number:  2012046162 | Marc record