Cognitive Grammar and reconstrual: Re-experiencing Margaret Atwood's 'The Freeze-Dried Groom'

Chloe Harrison, Louise Nuttall

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)

Abstract

This chapter examines the cognitive and experiential processes of re-reading, and their contribution to the conceptualisation of a fictional world. Fictional worlds are experienced dynamically, and often in multiple sittings, separated by varying lengths of time. While the myriad of contextual factors which distinguish sittings makes re-reading a difficult object of study, this aspect of our natural, everyday encounters with texts is worthy of consideration in stylistic discussion. As a first step in this direction, this chapter demonstrates an awareness of multiple readings, and the distinct experiences they represent, as part of a cognitive stylistic account of textual interpretation.

Firstly, a theoretical account of re-reading is outlined in terms of Cognitive Grammar and, in particular, its concept of construal. This account is demonstrated through analysis of the short story ‘The Freeze-Dried Groom’ from Margaret Atwood’s 2014 collection Stone Mattress. Applying Cognitive Grammar's multidimensional model of construal, and a further process of reconstrual, we make specific predictions concerning readers’ experiences of this story’s fictional world on a first- and second-reading, looking in particular at changing conceptualisations of tone, atmosphere and narrative perspective, and the linguistic processing responsible. Based on this analytical case study, we propose a need for further investigation of texts which surprise readers, or which feature a twist or reveal, and the ways in which information is attended to across multiple readings.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationExperiencing Fictional Worlds
EditorsB. Neurohr, L. Stewart-Shaw
PublisherJohn Benjamins
Pages135-154
ISBN (Electronic)9789027263032
ISBN (Print)9789027202017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2019

Fingerprint

Cognitive Grammar
Rereading
Fictional Worlds
Margaret Atwood
Reader
Conceptualization
Construal
Surprise
Length
Cognitive Stylistics
Short Story
Prediction
Atmosphere
Contextual Factors

Bibliographical note

This is the author's final accepted version. This publication is © John Benjamins. See further details at https://benjamins.com/content/authors/rightspolicy

Cite this

Harrison, C., & Nuttall, L. (2019). Cognitive Grammar and reconstrual: Re-experiencing Margaret Atwood's 'The Freeze-Dried Groom'. In B. Neurohr, & L. Stewart-Shaw (Eds.), Experiencing Fictional Worlds (pp. 135-154). John Benjamins.
Harrison, Chloe ; Nuttall, Louise. / Cognitive Grammar and reconstrual : Re-experiencing Margaret Atwood's 'The Freeze-Dried Groom'. Experiencing Fictional Worlds. editor / B. Neurohr ; L. Stewart-Shaw. John Benjamins, 2019. pp. 135-154
@inbook{72cebd8c499645e4bb23dff486762b5b,
title = "Cognitive Grammar and reconstrual: Re-experiencing Margaret Atwood's 'The Freeze-Dried Groom'",
abstract = "This chapter examines the cognitive and experiential processes of re-reading, and their contribution to the conceptualisation of a fictional world. Fictional worlds are experienced dynamically, and often in multiple sittings, separated by varying lengths of time. While the myriad of contextual factors which distinguish sittings makes re-reading a difficult object of study, this aspect of our natural, everyday encounters with texts is worthy of consideration in stylistic discussion. As a first step in this direction, this chapter demonstrates an awareness of multiple readings, and the distinct experiences they represent, as part of a cognitive stylistic account of textual interpretation.Firstly, a theoretical account of re-reading is outlined in terms of Cognitive Grammar and, in particular, its concept of construal. This account is demonstrated through analysis of the short story ‘The Freeze-Dried Groom’ from Margaret Atwood’s 2014 collection Stone Mattress. Applying Cognitive Grammar's multidimensional model of construal, and a further process of reconstrual, we make specific predictions concerning readers’ experiences of this story’s fictional world on a first- and second-reading, looking in particular at changing conceptualisations of tone, atmosphere and narrative perspective, and the linguistic processing responsible. Based on this analytical case study, we propose a need for further investigation of texts which surprise readers, or which feature a twist or reveal, and the ways in which information is attended to across multiple readings.",
author = "Chloe Harrison and Louise Nuttall",
note = "This is the author's final accepted version. This publication is {\circledC} John Benjamins. See further details at https://benjamins.com/content/authors/rightspolicy",
year = "2019",
month = "3",
day = "1",
language = "English",
isbn = "9789027202017",
pages = "135--154",
editor = "B. Neurohr and L. Stewart-Shaw",
booktitle = "Experiencing Fictional Worlds",
publisher = "John Benjamins",
address = "Netherlands",

}

Harrison, C & Nuttall, L 2019, Cognitive Grammar and reconstrual: Re-experiencing Margaret Atwood's 'The Freeze-Dried Groom'. in B Neurohr & L Stewart-Shaw (eds), Experiencing Fictional Worlds. John Benjamins, pp. 135-154.

Cognitive Grammar and reconstrual : Re-experiencing Margaret Atwood's 'The Freeze-Dried Groom'. / Harrison, Chloe; Nuttall, Louise.

Experiencing Fictional Worlds. ed. / B. Neurohr; L. Stewart-Shaw. John Benjamins, 2019. p. 135-154.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)

TY - CHAP

T1 - Cognitive Grammar and reconstrual

T2 - Re-experiencing Margaret Atwood's 'The Freeze-Dried Groom'

AU - Harrison, Chloe

AU - Nuttall, Louise

N1 - This is the author's final accepted version. This publication is © John Benjamins. See further details at https://benjamins.com/content/authors/rightspolicy

PY - 2019/3/1

Y1 - 2019/3/1

N2 - This chapter examines the cognitive and experiential processes of re-reading, and their contribution to the conceptualisation of a fictional world. Fictional worlds are experienced dynamically, and often in multiple sittings, separated by varying lengths of time. While the myriad of contextual factors which distinguish sittings makes re-reading a difficult object of study, this aspect of our natural, everyday encounters with texts is worthy of consideration in stylistic discussion. As a first step in this direction, this chapter demonstrates an awareness of multiple readings, and the distinct experiences they represent, as part of a cognitive stylistic account of textual interpretation.Firstly, a theoretical account of re-reading is outlined in terms of Cognitive Grammar and, in particular, its concept of construal. This account is demonstrated through analysis of the short story ‘The Freeze-Dried Groom’ from Margaret Atwood’s 2014 collection Stone Mattress. Applying Cognitive Grammar's multidimensional model of construal, and a further process of reconstrual, we make specific predictions concerning readers’ experiences of this story’s fictional world on a first- and second-reading, looking in particular at changing conceptualisations of tone, atmosphere and narrative perspective, and the linguistic processing responsible. Based on this analytical case study, we propose a need for further investigation of texts which surprise readers, or which feature a twist or reveal, and the ways in which information is attended to across multiple readings.

AB - This chapter examines the cognitive and experiential processes of re-reading, and their contribution to the conceptualisation of a fictional world. Fictional worlds are experienced dynamically, and often in multiple sittings, separated by varying lengths of time. While the myriad of contextual factors which distinguish sittings makes re-reading a difficult object of study, this aspect of our natural, everyday encounters with texts is worthy of consideration in stylistic discussion. As a first step in this direction, this chapter demonstrates an awareness of multiple readings, and the distinct experiences they represent, as part of a cognitive stylistic account of textual interpretation.Firstly, a theoretical account of re-reading is outlined in terms of Cognitive Grammar and, in particular, its concept of construal. This account is demonstrated through analysis of the short story ‘The Freeze-Dried Groom’ from Margaret Atwood’s 2014 collection Stone Mattress. Applying Cognitive Grammar's multidimensional model of construal, and a further process of reconstrual, we make specific predictions concerning readers’ experiences of this story’s fictional world on a first- and second-reading, looking in particular at changing conceptualisations of tone, atmosphere and narrative perspective, and the linguistic processing responsible. Based on this analytical case study, we propose a need for further investigation of texts which surprise readers, or which feature a twist or reveal, and the ways in which information is attended to across multiple readings.

UR - https://benjamins.com/catalog/lal.32

M3 - Chapter (peer-reviewed)

SN - 9789027202017

SP - 135

EP - 154

BT - Experiencing Fictional Worlds

A2 - Neurohr, B.

A2 - Stewart-Shaw, L.

PB - John Benjamins

ER -

Harrison C, Nuttall L. Cognitive Grammar and reconstrual: Re-experiencing Margaret Atwood's 'The Freeze-Dried Groom'. In Neurohr B, Stewart-Shaw L, editors, Experiencing Fictional Worlds. John Benjamins. 2019. p. 135-154