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Why Do We Care about Literary Characters?
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Why Do We Care about Literary Characters?

3.88 of 5 stars 3.88  ·  rating details  ·  26 ratings  ·  2 reviews
Blakey Vermeule wonders how readers become involved in the lives of fictional characters, people they know do not exist.

Vermeule examines the ways in which readers’ experiences of literature are affected by the emotional attachments they form to fictional characters and how those experiences then influence their social relationships in real life. She focuses on a range of
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Hardcover, 296 pages
Published December 7th 2009 by Johns Hopkins University Press (first published December 1st 2009)
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Erica
I wish I liked this book. It seems like I should, but I think I've outgrown it. Vermeule does not offer any new readings. She puts a lot of cognitive and psychology-derived experimental studies next to (pretty typical) readings of the 18c novel and the 20th century novel. I don't have a problem with cognitive approaches, but this is not offering anything new or even really making a cohesive argument about why we care for literary character. It's a bunch of interesting observations, which are mor ...more
Jennifer
Blakey Vermeule is maddeningly whipsmart and shares my love for breaking down Jane Austen. This one didn't feel like an academic book; it felt like one of those Malcolm Gladwell reveal-alls - except better, because Gladwell repeats himself ad infinitum and markets himself toward the masses and Vermeule genuinely seeks to answer questions intelligently and lucidly.
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