Reading against the text? Metarepresentation and patterns of subjectivity in the summarization of Henry James’s tales

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Title: Reading against the text? Metarepresentation and patterns of subjectivity in the summarization of Henry James’s tales
Authors: Álvarez Amorós, José Antonio
Research Group/s: Transhistorical Anglophone Literary Studies (THALIS)
Center, Department or Service: Universidad de Alicante. Departamento de Filología Inglesa
Keywords: Cognitive narratology | Metarepresentation | Treatment of sources | Summarization | Short story | Henry James
Knowledge Area: Filología Inglesa
Issue Date: 27-Mar-2019
Publisher: De Gruyter Mouton
Citation: Journal of Literary Semantics. 2019, 48(1): 59-83. doi:10.1515/jls-2019-2007
Abstract: Informed by cognitive narratology and specifically based on our metarepresentational ability, this paper explores how the subjectivity in Henry James’s tales is transferred to the summaries provided by critics for the orientation of readers. Since it enables real, and realistic, minds to process content along with sources and paths of propagation, the metarepresentational skill proves to be an essential instrument for discriminating in narrative texts the authenticated, source-free facts from those which are contingent on the subjective domains of characters and character-narrators. When for a number of reasons this skill is relaxed or altogether deactivated in the act of summarizing, the resulting product will betray the original work by projecting a distorted or reductive image of it, particularly in a writer like James who was increasingly concerned with imparting informational verisimilitude to his fiction. The treatment of metarepresentational sources in the summaries of James’s tales generates perplexing patterns, such as when the handling of sources in a summary contradicts the critic’s own conclusions elsewhere in his or her work. This clash yields insights into the authenticating function of the fictional text in connection with its cognitive rhetoric.
ISSN: 0341-7638 (Print) | 1613-3838 (Online)
DOI: 10.1515/jls-2019-2007
Language: eng
Type: info:eu-repo/semantics/article
Rights: © 2019 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston
Peer Review: si
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Appears in Collections:INV - THALIS - Artículos de Revistas

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