Wednesday 17 June 2009

Books on the Psychology of Fiction

We hope our list of books on, or relevant to, the psychology of fiction has been useful. To reach this list with its micro-reviews, please click here. I update it from time to time, and it has passed the mark of a hundred titles of monographs. In addition there are a couple of dozen edited books, without reviews, that contain collections of contributed chapters. This list is far from complete, so if you would like to suggest a book, please do so by adding the title and a micro-review as a comment to this post. We will review nominations. If a book you suggest belongs here, we will insert it in our list, with your micro-review and an acknowledgement to you. We are happy to receive a nomination of a book you have written yourself, but in such a case we would like to read it and write the micro-review. We would also be pleased to hear of, and correct, mistakes you discover.

Our list of books and micro-reviews is in chronological order to give the sense of how work on the psychology of fiction has developed over time, and to show how influences can have occurred. In this post, today, I give an alphabetically ordered list of just the authors, dates, titles, and publishers. This will enable you to see who is here and who has been missed but should be included. It will also enable you to use the search function of the blog, at the top-left-corner of this page, to find authors and titles.

As I prepared this alphabetical list, the following came to mind. Aristotle's Poetics has been the most influential book on fiction in the West, although it is not the oldest. (The first substantial discussion of art, including fiction, occurs in Plato's The republic). Erich Auerbach's Mimesis, written in Istanbul during World War II after Auerbach lost his job under Nazi rule in Germany, remains the most distinguished of the modern era. The most wide ranging book in our list is perhaps The mind and its stories, by Patrick Colm Hogan who, in order to write it, read stories from all round the world. The most salutary to Western-centric thinking are the thousand-year-old books on Indian poetics by Anandavardana and Abhinavagupta (in Ingalls et al., 1990). The most surprisingly original is a tie, I think, between Frederic Bartlett's Remembering, and Elaine Scarry's Dreaming by the book. Academically the most bold, perhaps, is Martha Nussbaum's The fragility of goodness, in which she proposes that instead of spending lifetimes reading philosophy, philosophers would have done better to read fictional literature. The book that gets a prize for being both highly influential and illogical is Practical criticism, by I.A. Richards who described his psychological experiment of finding how a group of people understood 13 poems, and then, instead of thinking how interesting were the differences in people's readings, became the founder of a movement to tell people how to make the correct interpretations. The wrongest in the set is, I think, Kendall Walton's (1990) book with its proposal that the emotions we experience in fiction are not real emotions, but are merely make-believe. The wittiest, perhaps, is Pierre Bayard's How to talk about books you haven't read. But the book that is most likely to have you chuckling aloud is Alan Bennett's The uncommon reader, about how, as a result of falling in love with reading novels, Queen Elizabeth II starts to neglect her duties as head of state.

M. H. Abrams (1953). The mirror and the lamp: Romantic theory and the critical tradition. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Anandavardana & Abhinavagupta (circa 1000) in D. H. H. Ingalls, J. M. Masson & M. V. Patwardhan (1990). The Dhvanyaloka of Anandavardana with the Locana of Abhinavagupta. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Karen Armstrong (2005). A short history of myth. Edinburgh: Canongate, reissued by Vintage Canada.

Aristotle (circa 330 BCE) Poetics (G. E. Else, Trans.). Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press (This edition, 1970).

Erich Auerbach (1953). Mimesis: The representation of reality in Western literature (W. R. Trask, Trans.). Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Mikhail Bakhtin (1963). Problems of Dostoevsky's poetics. (trans. C. Emerson). Minneapolis: University of Minneapolis Press ( Current edition 1984).

Mieke Bal (1985). Narratology: Introduction to the theory of narrative. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

Frederic Bartlett (1932). Remembering: A study in experimental and social psychology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Roland Barthes (1974). S/Z: An essay. (trans. R. Miller). New York: Hill & Wang.

Pierre Bayard (2007). How to talk about books you haven't read (J. Mehlman, Trans.). London: Bloomsbury.

Alan Bennett (2007). The uncommon reader. London: Faber.

Wayne Booth (1988). The company we keep: An ethics of fiction. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.

David Bordwell (1985). Narration in the fiction film. Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Press.

Marisa Bortolussi & Peter Dixon (2003). Psychonarratology: foundations for the empirical study of literary response. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Brian Boyd (2009). On the origin of stories: Evolution, cognition, and fiction. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Jerome Bruner (1986). Actual minds, possible worlds. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Nöel Carroll (1990). The philosophy of horror or Paradoxes of the heart. New York: Routledge.

R. G. Collingwood (1938). The principles of art. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Mary Thomas Crane (2001). Shakespeare's brain: Reading with cognitive theory. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Margaret Anne Doody (1997). The true story of the novel. London: HarperCollins.

Ellen Dissanayake (1992). Homo Aestheticus: Where art come from and why. Seattle: University of Washington Press.

Robin Dunbar (2004). The human story: A new history of mankind's evolution. London: Faber.

Judy Dunn (2004). Children's friendships: The beginnings of intimacy. Oxford: Blackwell.

Denis Dutton (2009). The art instinct: Beauty, pleasure, and human evolution. New York: Bloomsbury.

Catherine Emmott (1997). Narrative comprehension: A discourse perspective. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

E. M. Forster (1927). Aspects of the novel. London: Arnold.

Richard Gerrig (1993). Experiencing narrative worlds: On the psychological activities of reading. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.

Raymond Gibbs (1994). The poetics of mind: Figurative thought, language, and understanding. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Alvin Goldman (2006). Simulating minds: The philosophy, psychology, and neuroscience of mindreading. New York: Oxford University Press.

Frank Hakemulder (2000). The moral laboratory: Experiments examining the effects of reading literature on social perception and moral self-concept. Amsterdam: Benjamins.

Stephen Halliwell (2002). The aesthetics of mimesis: Ancient texts and modern problems. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Paul Harris (2000). The work of the imagination. Oxford: Blackwell.

Jerry Hobbs (1990). Literature and cognition. Stanford, CA: Center for the Study of Language and Information.

Patrick Colm Hogan (2003). Cognitive science, literature, and the arts: A guide for humanists. New York: Routledge.

Patrick Colm Hogan (2003). The mind and its stories: Narrative universals and human emotion. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Norman Holland (1968). The dynamics of literary response. New York: Columbia University Press.

Daniel Hutto (2008). Folk psychological narratives: The sociocultural basis of understanding reasons. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Lewis Hyde (1983). The gift: Imagination and the erotic life of property. New York: Vintage.

Wolfgang Iser (1974). The implied reader: Patterns of communication in prose fiction from Bunyan to Beckett. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.

Roman Jakobson & Morris Halle (1956). Fundamentals of language. 'S-Gravenhage: Mouton.

Samuel Johnson (1779-1781). Lives of the poets. Oxford: Oxford University Press (Current edition, 2006).

Suzanne Keen (2007). Empathy and the novel. New York: Oxford University Press.

Ronald Kellogg (1994). The psychology of writing. New York: Oxford University Press.

Frank Kermode (1966). The sense of an ending: Studies in the theory of fiction. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Elly Konijn (2000). Acting emotions: shaping emotions on stage. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press.

Milan Kundera (1988). The art of the novel. New York: HarperCollins.

George Lakoff & Mark Johnson (1980). Metaphors we live by. Chicago: Chicago University Press.

Peter Lamarque (2009). The philosophy of literature. Malden, MA: Blackwell.

Jonah Lehrer (2008). Proust was a neuroscientist. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.

János László (1999). Cognition and representation in literature: The psychology of literary narratives. Budapest: Akadémiai Kiadó.

David Lodge (1977). The modes of modern writing: Metaphor, metonymy, and the typology of modern fiction. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.

David Lodge (2002). Consciousness and the novel. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Longinus (circa 50 BCE). On the sublime. In Classical literary criticism (Ed & trans. T. S. Dorsch). (pp. 99-158). Harmondsworth: Penguin (This edition, 1965)

Percy Lubbock (1926). The craft of fiction. London: Cape.

Colin Martindale (1975). Romantic progression: The psychology of literary history. Washington, DC: Hemisphere.

Keith May (1977). Out of the maelstrom: Psychology and the novel in the Twentieth Century. London: Elek.

Scott McCloud (1993). Understanding comics. New York: HarperPerennial.

David Miall (2006). Literary reading: Empirical and theoretical studies. New York: Peter Lang.

Steven Mithen (1996). The prehistory of the mind: The cognitive origins of art and science. London: Thames & Hudson.

John Mullan (2006). How novels work. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Victor Nell (1988). Lost in a book: The psychology of reading for pleasure. Newhaven, CT: Yale University Press.

Martha Nussbaum (1986). The fragility of goodness: Luck and ethics in Greek tragedy and philosophy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Martha Nussbaum (1995). Poetic justice: The literary imagination and public life. Boston: Beacon.

Keith Oatley (1992). Best laid schemes: The psychology of emotions. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Frank O'Connor (1963). The lonely voice: A study of the short story. New York: World Publishing Co (reprinted 2004, Melville House).

Michael Ondaatje (2002). The conversations: Walter Murch and the art of editing film. Toronto: Vintage Canada.

Keith Opdahl (2002). Emotion as meaning: The literary case for how we imagine. Lewisburg, PA: Bucknell University Press.

Alan Palmer (2004). Fictional minds. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press.

Willie van Peer (1986). Sylistics and psychology: Investigations of foregrounding. London: Croom Helm.

Willie van Peer, Frank Hakemulder & Sonia Zyngier (2007). Muses and measures: Empirical research methods for the humanities. Newcastle-on-Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

Jordan Peterson (1999). Maps of meaning: The architecture of belief. London: Routledge.

Plato. (375 BCE). The republic. (Translated by D. Lee). Harmondsworth, Middlesex: Penguin (current edition 1955).

Matthew Potolsky (2006). Mimesis. New York: Routledge.

I. A. Richards (1929). Practical criticism: A study of literary judgment. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.

Paul Ricoeur (1985). Time and narrative (K. McLaughlin & D. Pellauer, Trans.). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Louise Rosenblatt (1938). Literature as exploration. New York: Noble & Noble.

Mark Sadoski & Allan Paivio (2001). Imagery and text: A dual coding theory of reading and writing. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

Elaine Scarry (1999). Dreaming by the book. New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux.

Roger Schank & Robert Abelson (1977). Scripts, plans, goals and understanding: An inquiry into human knowledge structures. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.

Thomas Scheff (1979). Catharsis in healing, ritual, and drama. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Leonard Shlain (1998). The alphabet versus the goddess: The conflict between word and image. New York: Viking Penguin.

Elaine Showalter. (2003). Teaching Literature. Oxford: Blackwell.

Murray Smith (1995). Engaging characters: Fiction, emotion, and the cinema. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Bruno Snell (1953). The discovery of the mind in Greek philosophy and literature. New York: Dover (modern edition 1982).

Konstantin Stanislavski (1936). An actor prepares. New York: Theater Arts.

Sol Stein (1995). Stein on writing. New York: St Martins.

Brian Stock (2007). Ethics through literature: Ascetic and aesthetic reading in Western culture. Lebanon, NH: University Press of New England.

Peter Stockwell (2002). Cognitive poetics: An introduction. New York: Routledge.

Ed Tan (1996). Emotion and the structure of narrative film: Film as an emotion machine. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

Leo Tolstoy (1898). What is art? In A. Maude (Ed.), Tolstoy on art (pp. 117-357). Oxford: Oxford University Press (This edition, 1925).

Jean Trounstine & Robert Waxler (2005). Finding a voice: The practice of changing lives through literature. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.

Reuven Tsur (1992). Towards a theory of cognitive poetics. Amsterdam: North Holland.

Mark Turner (1996). The literary mind: The origins of thought and language. New York: Oxford University Press.

Scott Turner (1994). The creative process: A computer model of storytelling and creativity. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.

Kendall Walton (1990). Mimesis as make-believe: On the foundations of the representational arts. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Ian Watt (1957). The rise of the novel: Studies in Defoe, Richardson, and Fielding. London: Chatto & Windus.

Peter Widdowson (1999). Literature. New York: Routledge.

Maryanne Wolf (2007). Proust and the squid: The story and science of the reading brain. New York: HarperCollins.

James Wood (2008). How fiction works. New York: Farrar, Strauss & Giroux.

Virginia Woolf (1929). A room of one's own. London: Hogarth Press.

William Wordsworth & Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1798). Lyrical Ballads. London: Longman & Rees.

Lisa Zunshine (2006). Why we read fiction: Theory of mind and the novel. Columbus, OH: Ohio State University Press.

Rolf Zwaan (1993). Aspects of literary comprehension: A cognitive approach. Amsterdam: Benjamins.

Edited collections on, or relevant to, the psychology of fiction
Jennings Bryant & Peter Vorderer (Eds.). (2006). Psychology of entertainment. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

Nöel Carroll & Jinhee Choi (Eds.). (2006). Philosophy of film and motion pictures: An anthology. Oxford: Blackwell.

Gerald Cupchik & János László (Eds.). (1992). Emerging visions of the aesthetic process: Psychology, semiology and philosophy. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Gary Fireman, Ted McVay & Owen Flanagan (Eds.). (2003). Narrative and consciousness: Literature, psychology, and the brain. New York: Oxford University Press.

Joanna Gavins & Gerard Steen (Eds.) (2003). Cognitive poetics in practice. New York: Routledge.

Susan Goldman, Arthur Graesser & Paul van den Broek (Eds.). (1999). Narrative comprehension, causality, and coherence: Essays in honor of Tom Trabasso. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

Jonathan Gottschall & David Sloan Wilson (Eds.). (2005). The literary animal. Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press.

Melanie Green, Jeffrey Strange & Timothy Brock (Eds.). (2002). Narrative impact: Social and cognitive foundations. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

David Herman (Ed.) (2003). Narrative theory and the cognitive sciences. Stanford, CA: CSLI Publications.

David Herman (Ed.). (2007). The Cambridge companion to narrative. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Mette Hjort & Sue Laver (Eds.). (1997). Emotion and the arts. New York: Oxford University Press.

Scott Kaufman & James Kaufman (Eds.). (2009). The psychology of creative writing. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Roger Kreuz & Mary Sue MacNealy (Eds.). (1996). Empirical approaches to literature and aesthetics. Norwood, NJ: Ablex.

Colin Martindale (Ed.). (1988). Psychological approaches to the study of literary narratives. Hamburg: Buske.

Colin Martindale, Paul Locher & Vladimir Petrov (Eds.). (2007). Evolutionary and neurocognitive approaches in aesthetics, creativity, and the arts. Amityville, NY: Baywood.

Bruce McConachie & Elizabeth Hart (Eds.). (2006). Performance and cognition: Theater studies and the cognitive turn. New York: Routledge.

David Olson & Nancy Torrance (Eds.). (2009). The Cambridge handbook of literacy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Herre van Oostendorp & Susan Goldman (Eds.). (1999). The construction of mental representations during reading. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

Andrew Ortony (Ed.). (1979). Metaphor and thought. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. (A second edition, of 1993, contains additional contributions.)

Willie van Peer & Seymour Chatman (Eds.). (2001). New perspectives on narrative perspective. Albany: State University of New York Press.

Willie van Peer (Ed.). (2008). The quality of literature: Linguistic studies in literary evaluation. Amsterdam: Benjamins.

Alan Richardson & Ellen Spolsky (Eds.). (2004). The work of fiction: Cognition, culture, and complexity. Burlington, VT: Ashgate.

Dick Schram & Gerard Steen (Eds.). (2001). The psychology and sociology of literature: In honor of Erlund Ibsch. Amsterdam: Benjamins.

Elena Semino & Jonathan Culpeper (Eds.). (2002). Cognitive stylistics: Language and cognition in text analysis. Linguistic approaches to literature. Amsterdam: Benjamins.

Jane Tomkins (Ed.). (1980). Reader-response criticism: From formalism to post-structuralism. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.

Steven Tötösy de Zepetnek & Irene Sywenky (Eds.). (1997). The systemic and empirical approach to literature and culture as theory and application. Siegen: LUMIS Publications.

Dolf Zillmann & Peter Vorderer (Eds.). (2000). Media entertainment: The psychology of its appeal. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

Sonia Zyngier, Marisa Bortolussi, Anna Chesnokova & Jan Auracher (Eds.). (2008). Directions in empirical studies in literature: In honor of Willie van Peer. Amsterdam: Benjamins.

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