Why literary devices matter

Lorraine K C YEUNG*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper investigates the emotional import of literary devices deployed in fiction. Reflecting on the often-favored approach in the analytic tradition that locates fictional characters, events, and narratives as sources of readers’ emotions, I attempt to broaden the scope of analysis by accounting for how literary devices trigger non-cognitive emo-tions. I argue that giving more expansive consideration to literary devices by which authors present content facilitates a better understanding of how fiction engages emotion. In doing so, I also explore the somatic dimension of reading fiction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-38
Number of pages20
JournalPolish Journal of Aesthetics
Issue number60
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Philosophy
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)

User-Defined Keywords

  • Affects
  • Fiction
  • Literary devices
  • Non-cognitive emotions
  • Psycho


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