Why literary devices matter

Lorraine K.C. Yeung*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-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 fictionalcharacters, events, and narratives as sources of readers’ emotions, I attempt to broadenthe scope of analysis by accounting for how literary devices trigger non-cognitive emotions. I argue that giving more expansive consideration to literary devices by whichauthors 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)19-37
Number of pages19
JournalPolish Journal of Aesthetics
Issue number60
Publication statusPublished - 26 Mar 2021

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Philosophy
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)

User-Defined Keywords

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


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