Book Cover

With Bodies

Narrative Theory and Embodied Cognition

Marco Caracciolo and Karin Kukkonen

230 pp. 6 x 9
2 illustrations
Pub Date: October, 2021

Subjects: Narrative Studies
Literary Theory

Series: Theory and Interpretation of Narrative

order Hardcover $99.95   ISBN: 978-0-8142-1480-0
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“Given the rise of cognitive approaches to narrative, the publication of Caracciolo and Kukkonen’s With Bodies is extremely timely. In combining and extending the works of both authors, it constitutes a unique contribution.” —Nancy Easterlin, author of A Biocultural Approach to Literary Theory and Interpretation

We read not only with our eyes and minds, but with our entire body. In With Bodies, Marco Caracciolo and Karin Kukkonen move systematically through all elements of narrative and put them into dialogue with recent research in neuroscience, cognitive psychology, cognitive linguistics, and philosophy of mind to investigate what it means to read literary narratives bodily. They draw their findings from a wide corpus of material—narratives from antiquity to the present and composed in various languages, from Apuleius’s Metamorphoses to Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall—and craft their embodied narratology to retool current theories about authors, narrators and characters, time and space in storyworlds, and plot. Their investigation serves as a foundation for wider discussions on embodied narratology’s contributions to literary history, computation and AI, posthumanism, gender studies, and world literature

“[An] extremely useful and lucid overview of a field often beset by technical terminology … This book offers a substantial contribution to the field of narratology in its revised theory of what happens when we read. It enables new things to be said about the experience of narrative, and will no doubt facilitate the development of many new ideas significant for storytelling across all its forms.” —Stephanie Moran, Leonardo

With Bodies demonstrates convincingly that narrative can be seen as an inherently embodied practice. I would recommend the book to everyone who is interested in the question of what situated cognition can tell us about narrative processing.” —Jan Alber, Anglistik

“[With Bodies] is a most welcome contribution to an ongoing debate. It makes a number of important suggestions about the role of embodied cognition in narrative, and it reminds us that there are still some open questions concerning the exact kind and intensity of embodiment effects in narrative reading.” —Ralf Schneider, Journal of Literary Theory

“[With Bodies] contains many thought-provoking passages and incorporates lively and often fascinating examples.” —Maria C. Scott, Modern Language Review

Marco Caracciolo is Associate Professor of English and Literary Theory at Ghent University. He is also the author of Narrating the Mesh: Form and Story in the Anthropocene. 

Karin Kukkonen is Professor of Comparative Literature at the University of Oslo. She is the author of Probability Designs: Literature and Predictive Processing.



Introduction    Positioning the Embodied Reader

Part 1   The Embodied Dynamics of Storyworlds

Chapter 1        Spatial Metaphors for Immersion, Transportation, and Presence

Chapter 2        Authors and Narrators as Embodied Narrative Agents

Chapter 3        Reappraising Focalization

Chapter 4        Affective Routes to Narrative Space

Part 2   The Embodied Dynamics of Time and Plot

Chapter 5        Temporal Metaphors for Narrative Engagement

Chapter 6        Embodying Narrative Action

Chapter 7        Plot, Abstraction, and Situated Conceptualization

Chapter 8        Back to Authors and Narrators

Chapter 9        Entanglements: Embodied Narratology Meets Literary History, Posthumanism, Computational Intelligence, Gender/Sex, and World Literature



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