The Empathic Reader

Author: J. Brooks Bouson

Publisher: Amherst : University of Massachusetts Press

ISBN: UOM:39015051297805

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 204

View: 472

In a series of important studies, American psychoanalyst Heinz Kohut focused attention on a fundamental aspect of human behavior: the desire each person feels for a sense of relationship with and empathic responsiveness from others. This book offers the first sustained application of Kohut's work to the study of literature and sheds new light on the complex nature of interactions between texts and readers. J. Brooks Bouson investigates nine representative "narcissistic" characters from works by Atwood, Bellow, Conrad, Dotosevsky, Kafka, Lessing, Mann, and Woolf. Combining a careful examination of individual characters and texts with an analysis of the critical commentaries they have generated, Bouson makes us aware of the narcissistic dramas encoded in texts, dramas that are often unconsciously replicated by critics in their interpretive narratives. "In an essential way," Bouson writes, "the meaning of literary work grows out of the empathic event that occurs between the reader and the text." The book establishes a place for Kohut's self psychology in the study of literature and provides a refreshing perspective on the empathic dynamics of the reading and critical processes.
Empathy and Reading

Author: Suzanne Keen

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 9781000595208

Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Page: 284

View: 752

This pioneering collection brings together Suzanne Keen’s extensive body of work on empathy and reading, charting the development of narrative empathy as an area of inquiry in its own right and extending cross-disciplinary conversations about empathy evoked by reading. The volume offers a brief overview of the trajectory of research following the 2007 publication of Empathy and the Novel, with empathy understood as a suite of related phenomena as stimulated by representations in narratives. The book is organized around three thematic sections—theories; empathetic readers; and interdisciplinary applications—each preceded by a short framing essay. The volume features excerpts from the author’s seminal works on narrative empathy and makes available her harder-to-access contributions. The book brings different strands of the author’s research into conversation with existing debates, with the aim of inspiring future interdisciplinary research on narrative empathy. This book will be of interest to students and scholars in such fields as literary studies, cognitive science, emotion studies, affect studies, and applied contexts where empathetic practitioners work.
Neo-Victorianism, Empathy and Reading

Author: Muren Zhang

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing

ISBN: 9781350135604

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 216

View: 743

In the words of J. Brooks Boustan, the empathic reader is a participant-observer, who, as they read, is both subject to the disruptive and disturbing responses that characters and texts provoke, and aware of the role they are invited to play when responding to fiction. Calling upon the writings of Margaret Atwood, Julian Barnes, Graeme Macrae Burnet, Sarah Waters, Michael Cox and Jane Harris, this book examines the ethics of the text-reader relationship in neo-Victorian literature, focusing upon the role played by empathy in this engagement. Bringing together recent cultural and theoretical research on narrative temporality, empathy and affect, Muren Zhang presents neo-Victorian literature as a genre defined by its experimentation with 'empathetic narrative'. Broken down into themes such as voyeurism, shame, nausea, space and place, Neo-Victorianism, Empathy and Reading argues that such literature pushes the reader to critically reflect upon their reading expectations and strategies, as well as their wider ethical responsibilities. As a result, Zhang breathes new life into the debates associated with the genre and demonstrates new ways of reading and valuing these contemporary texts, providing a future-orientated, reparative and politically meaningful way of reading neo-Victorian literature and culture.
Empathy and the Novel

Author: Suzanne Keen

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0195343603

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 274

View: 677

Does empathy felt while reading fiction actually cultivate a sense of connection, leading to altruistic actions on behalf of real others? Empathy and the Novel presents a comprehensive account of the relationships among novel reading, empathy, and altruism. Drawing on psychology, narrative theory, neuroscience, literary history, philosophy, and recent scholarship in discourse processing, Keen brings together resources and challenges for the literary study of empathy and the psychological study of fiction reading. Empathy robustly enters into affective responses to fiction, yet its role in shaping the behavior of emotional readers has been debated for three centuries. Keen surveys these debates and illustrates the techniques that invite empathetic response. She argues that the perception of fictiveness increases the likelihood of readers' empathy in part by releasing them from the guarded responses necessitated by the demands of real others. Narrative empathy is a strategy and subject of contemporary novelists from around the world, writers who tacitly endorse the potential universality of human emotions when they call upon their readers' empathy. If narrative empathy is to be taken seriously, Keen suggests, then women's reading and responses to popular fiction occupy a central position in literary inquiry, and cognitive literary studies should extend its range beyond canonical novels. In short, Keen's study extends the playing field for literature practitioners, causing it to resemble more closely that wide open landscape inhabited by readers.
The Empathic Civilization

Author: Jeremy Rifkin

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 9781101171189

Category: Political Science

Page: 688

View: 445

"One of the leading big-picture thinkers of our day" (Utne Reader) delivers his boldest work in this erudite, tough-minded, and far-reaching manifesto. Never has the world seemed so completely united-in the form of communication, commerce, and culture-and so savagely torn apart-in the form of war, financial meltdown, global warming, and even the migration of diseases. No matter how much we put our minds to the task of meeting the challenges of a rapidly globalizing world, the human race seems to continually come up short, unable to muster the collective mental resources to truly "think globally and act locally." In his most ambitious book to date, bestselling social critic Jeremy Rifkin shows that this disconnect between our vision for the world and our ability to realize that vision lies in the current state of human consciousness. The very way our brains are structured disposes us to a way of feeling, thinking, and acting in the world that is no longer entirely relevant to the new environments we have created for ourselves. The human-made environment is rapidly morphing into a global space, yet our existing modes of consciousness are structured for earlier eras of history, which are just as quickly fading away. Humanity, Rifkin argues, finds itself on the cusp of its greatest experiment to date: refashioning human consciousness so that human beings can mutually live and flourish in the new globalizing society. In essence, this shift in consciousness is based upon reaching out to others. But to resist this change in human relations and modes of thinking, Rifkin contends, would spell ineptness and disaster in facing the new challenges around us. As the forces of globalization accelerate, deepen, and become ever more complex, the older faith-based and rational forms of consciousness are likely to become stressed, and even dangerous, as they attempt to navigate a world increasingly beyond their reach and control. Indeed, the emergence of this empathetic consciousness has implications for the future that will likely be as profound and far-reaching as when Enlightenment philosophers upended faith-based consciousness with the canon of reason.
Empathy I (Psychology Revivals)

Author: Joseph D. Lichtenberg

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 9781317970644

Category: Psychology

Page: 362

View: 280

When the late Heinz Kohut defined psychoanalysis as the science of empathy and introspection, he sparked a debate that has animated psychoanalytic discourse ever since. What is the relationship of empathy to psychoanalysis? Is it a constituent of analytical technique, an integral aspect of the therapeutic action of analysis, or simply a metaphor for a mode of observation better understood via ‘classical’ theory and terminology? The dialogue about empathy, which is really a dialogue about the nature of the analytic process, continues in this two-volume set, originally published in 1984. In Volume I, several illuminating attempts to define empathy are followed by Kohut’s essay, ‘Introspection, Empathy, and the Semicircle of Mental Health.’ Kohut’s paper, in turn, ushers in a series of original contributions on ‘Empathy as a Perspective in Psychoanalysis.’ The volume ends with five papers which strive to demarcate an empathic approach to various areas of artistic endeavour, including the appreciation of visual art. Volume II continues the dialogue with a series of developmental studies which explore the role of empathy in early child care at the same time as they chart the emergence of the young child’s capacity to empathize. In the concluding section, ‘Empathy in Psychoanalytic Work,’ contributors and discussants return to the arena of technique. They not only theorize about empathy in relation to analytic understanding and communication, but address issues of nosology, considering how the empathic vantage point may be utilized in the treatment of patients with borderline and schizophrenic pathology. In their critical attention to the many dimensions of empathy – philosophical, developmental, therapeutic, artistic – the contributors collectively bear witness to the fact that Kohut has helped to shape new questions, but not set limits to the search for answers. The product of their efforts is an anatomical exploration of a topic whose relevance for psychoanalysis and psychotherapy is only beginning to be understood.
Rethinking Empathy through Literature

Author: Meghan Marie Hammond

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 9781317817376

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 274

View: 269

In recent years, a growing field of empathy studies has started to emerge from several academic disciplines, including neuroscience, social psychology, and philosophy. Because literature plays a central role in discussions of empathy across disciplines, reconsidering how literature relates to "feeling with" others is key to rethinking empathy conceptually. This collection challenges common understandings of empathy, asking readers to question what it is, how it works, and who is capable of performing it. The authors reveal the exciting research on empathy that is currently emerging from literary studies while also making productive connections to other areas of study such as psychology and neurobiology. While literature has been central to discussions of empathy in divergent disciplines, the ways in which literature is often thought to relate to empathy can be simplistic and/or problematic. The basic yet popular postulation that reading literature necessarily produces empathy and pro-social moral behavior greatly underestimates the complexity of reading, literature, empathy, morality, and society. Even if empathy were a simple neurological process, we would still have to differentiate the many possible kinds of empathy in relation to different forms of art. All the complexities of literary and cultural studies have still to be brought to bear to truly understand the dynamics of literature and empathy.



Author: David Howe

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing

ISBN: 9781137276438

Category: Psychology

Page: 247

View: 203

Empathy is profoundly important for understanding people's feelings and behaviour. It is not only an essential skill in conducting successful personal and working relationships, it also helps us understand what makes people moral and societies decent. With this compelling book, David Howe invites the reader on an illuminating journey of discovery into how empathy was first conceptualised and how its influence has steadily risen and spread. He captures the growing significance of empathy to many fields, from evolutionary psychology and brain science to moral philosophy and mental health. In doing so, he eloquently explains its importance to child development, intimate relationships, therapy, the creative arts, neurology and ethics. Written with light touch, this is an authoritative and insightful guide to empathy, its importance, why we have it and how it develops. It offers an invaluable introduction for readers everywhere, including those studying or working in psychology, counselling, psychotherapy, social work, health, nursing and education.
Empathy and the Phantasmic in Ethnic American Trauma Narratives

Author: Stella Setka

Publisher: Lexington Books

ISBN: 9781498583848

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 175

View: 979

Empathy and the Phantasmic in Ethnic American Trauma Narratives examines a burgeoning genre of ethnic American literature called phantasmic trauma narratives, which use culturally specific modes of the supernatural to connect readers to historical traumas such as slavery and genocide. Drawing on trauma theory and using an ethnic studies methodology, this book shows how phantasmic novels and films present historical trauma in ways that seek to invite reader/viewer empathy about the cultural groups represented. In so doing, the author argues that these texts also provide models of interracial alliances to encourage contemporary cross-cultural engagement as a restorative response to historical traumas. Further, the author examines how these narratives function as sites of cultural memory that provide a critical purchase on the enormity of enslavement, genocide, and dispossession.
Toward a Cognitive Theory of Narrative Acts

Author: Frederick Luis Aldama

Publisher: University of Texas Press

ISBN: 9780292784321

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 336

View: 792

Toward a Cognitive Theory of Narrative Acts brings together in one volume cutting-edge research that turns to recent findings in cognitive and neurobiological sciences, psychology, linguistics, philosophy, and evolutionary biology, among other disciplines, to explore and understand more deeply various cultural phenomena, including art, music, literature, and film. The essays fulfilling this task for the general reader as well as the specialist are written by renowned authors H. Porter Abbott, Patrick Colm Hogan, Suzanne Keen, Herbert Lindenberger, Lisa Zunshine, Katja Mellman, Lalita Pandit Hogan, Klarina Priborkin, Javier Gutiérrez-Rexach, Ellen Spolsky, and Richard Walsh. Among the works analyzed are plays by Samuel Beckett, novels by Maxine Hong Kingston, music compositions by Igor Stravinsky, art by Jean-Baptiste-Simeon Chardin, and films by Michael Haneke. Each of the essays shows in a systematic, clear, and precise way how music, art, literature, and film work in and of themselves and also how they are interconnected. Finally, while each of the essays is unique in style and methodological approach, together they show the way toward a unified knowledge of artistic creativity.
Pursuing an Ethic of Empathy in Journalism

Author: Janet Blank-Libra

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 9781317272281

Category: Social Science

Page: 208

View: 932

This book advances a journalistic theory of empathy, challenging long-held notions about how best to do journalism. Because the institution of journalism has typically equated empathy and compassion with bias, it has been slow to give the intelligence of the emotions a legitimate place in the reporting and writing process. Blank-Libra’s work locates the point at which the vast, multidisciplinary research on empathy intersects with the work of the journalist, revealing a reality that has always been so: journalists practice empathy as a way to connect but also as a form of inquiry, as sincere and legitimate in its goals and aspirations as is objectivity.