Literature and Fascination by Sibylle Baumbach

By Sibylle Baumbach

This ebook explores literary fascination. Why do a little texts catch us greater than others; how do techniques of fascination evolve; what half does literature play during this; and the way can literary fascination be pinpointed and conceptualised? supplying special case reviews that come with texts through William Shakespeare, S.T. Coleridge, Mary Shelley, Bram Stoker, Oscar Wilde, Joseph Conrad, Don DeLillo, and Ian McEwan, this research investigates a number of mechanisms of fascination throughout varied verbal media of allure. It illuminates the ways that those texts are designed, awarded, and obtained and develops fascination as a key proposal of aesthetic appeal that offers perception into our realizing of ways notion services with reference to literature and the way it has advanced. Synthesizing those analyses, the ebook argues that narratives of fascination primarily paintings with medusamorphosis, an idea that takes its cue from the Gorgon Medusa and aids the research of key mechanisms used to elicit fascination.

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Literature and Fascination

This publication explores literary fascination. Why perform a little texts catch us greater than others; how do recommendations of fascination evolve; what half does literature play during this; and the way can literary fascination be pinpointed and conceptualised? supplying distinctive case experiences that come with texts by way of William Shakespeare, S.

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182 As suggested by the latter, fascination came to be understood as an intense power of attraction, which is as inexplicable as it is irresistible and emanates from either an object or a person. 183 Fascination hence refers to visual, verbal and auditory forms of enchantment alike. 190 Insofar as the harmonious interplay of all beings in the world is founded on concepts of magnetic attraction, the latter bears some affinity to fascination, as will be shown later in this chapter. Literature and Fascination 37 Whenever the term did appear, it was closely linked to dark magic, such as in Nicholas Jacquier’s Flagellum Haereticorum Fascinariorum (1458) or Martin Luther‘s Table Talk (1533).

Instead, we can distil images and figures that have frequently been associated with conflicting reactions and ‘paradoxes of the heart’126 and help explain how narratives of fascination work. 127 So what exactly are these triggers of fascination? 128 Literary fascination is equally complex and emerges from the careful arrangement of different triggers of repulsion and attraction. 129 The lure and magnetic force of the gaze are often suggested in descriptions of a character’s intense stare, but surface also in descriptions of objects, such as the mansion in Edgar Allan Poe’s ‘The Fall of the House of Usher’ (1839) with its ‘eye-like windows’ (126).

Within the context of the psychology of emotions, fascination is often loosely (and mistakenly) linked to interest, which Caroll Ellis Izard describes as ‘the most frequently experienced positive emotion’: [Interest] provides much of the motivation for learning, the development of skills and competencies, and for creative endeavor. Interest results from an increase in neural stimulation, usually brought about by change or novelty. 107 Interest, however, is not to be equalled with fascination. It is its prerequisite.

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