Explorations in the Prehistory of Cognitive Poetics
This chapter suggests how the neoclassical approach, after its demise at the hands of the Romantics, can live on in today’s cognitive poetics and cognitive literary study. The core principle of vraisemblance is proposed as a conceptualization for a cognitive mimesis that depends both on imitation (or enactment) of the cognitive processes represented and on their structuration in the narrative’s overall design. Neoclassical vraisemblance thus enables literature to be seen as an instrument of exploration through different choices in its situational logic. This logic nevertheless remains precise and can be analyzed, for example, through the neoclassical rules. These rules, it is suggested, can be considered as exemplary cases for bringing together cultural and cognitive dimensions of literature.
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