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Empathy and the Novel$
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Suzanne Keen

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780195175769

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195175769.001.0001

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Authors’ Empathy

Authors’ Empathy

(p.120) (p.121) 5 Authors’ Empathy
Empathy and the Novel

Suzanne Keen

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the relationship of empathy to novelists' craft of fiction. It suggests that contemporary novelists frequently connect fiction with empathy in their comments on creativity and the effects of novel reading and that representations of empathy in contemporary fiction run the gamut from moral approval to subversive deconstruction. It explains that many novelists call up empathy as a representational goal by mirroring it within their texts and they present empathetic connections between characters or thematize empathy explicitly in fiction meditating on the vagaries of social relations.

Keywords:   empathy, novelists, contemporary fiction, moral approval, subversive deconstruction, emphatic connections, social relations

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