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A Cognitive Analysis of Characters in Swedish and Anglophone Children's Fantasy Literature
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Department of Film and Literature. (CHILLL;CÄHL;Comparat Literature)
Anglia Ruskin Univ, UK.
2018 (English)In: International Research in Children's Literature (IRCL), ISSN 1755-6198, E-ISSN 1755-6201, Vol. 11, no 1, p. 65-79Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In Justice in Young Adult Speculative Fiction, Marek C. Oziewicz argues, 'it is possible to study scripts through the lens of the author's cognition, through the reader's cognition, or as a textual matter with an implied author and reader' (9-10). Here we propose a fourth method for studying scripts in children's literature: as a textual matter. Unlike previous research in the field, we argue that neither the implied author nor the implied or real reader's cognition is necessary for a cognitive analysis to offer insights about a literary text. A cognitive analysis of characters can demonstrate how each character's cognitive embodiment of their intersectional subject position contributes to the progression of a text's plot and themes. By analysing the mimetic, synthetic and thematic dimensions of character (Phelan), we maintain an ontological distinction between humans and characters - a prerequisite for applying cognitive theories to characters. In order to demonstrate the broad applicability of our approach, we analyse the cognitive scripts of the protagonists in two portal-quest fantasies form two different countries. Taliah Pollack's Saga Sward: Omskakare och varldsresenar [Saga Sword: world shaker and traveller] was published in Sweden in 2012; Tahereh Mafi's Furthermore dates from 2016 and was published in the US.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Edinburgh University Press, 2018. Vol. 11, no 1, p. 65-79
Keywords [en]
cognitive theory, character, intersectionality, children's literature, fantasy
National Category
General Literature Studies
Research subject
Humanities, Comparative literature
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-76864DOI: 10.3366/ircl.2018.0254ISI: 000435957400006Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85049340576OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-76864DiVA, id: diva2:1233372
Available from: 2018-07-17 Created: 2018-07-17 Last updated: 2019-08-29Bibliographically approved

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Alkestrand, Malin

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CiteExportLink to record
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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf