All meaning, all show? Towards a reader-centered theory of visual description
2011 (English)Conference paper (Refereed)
In this paper I will propose a reader-centered theory of literary description. Drawing on the divide between conceptual interpretation and pre-conceptual storyworld imagery, I will look into which descriptive devices may be particularly productive of the two reading strategies, respectively. Whereas novels and short stories often intermingle the strategies by and large, isolated passages of the same texts usually do not have an equal potential to elicit both. The reasons to study description from a reader-centered perspective, while making it a pilot notion in tackling the dialectics of interpretation and imagery, are twofold: Firstly, description pertains largely to the generation of imaginary storyworlds. However, passages rich in description are often regarded as indicators of narrative mediation, a view that suggests availability to higher-order interpretation. Secondly, description has mainly been defined in terms of its semantics. Yet a comprehensive account of what description is should also encompass a theory of what it does.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-123162OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-123162DiVA: diva2:872015
26th International Conference on Narrative, Washington University St. Louis, MO