“It feels like there are hooks inside my chest”: The Construction of Narrative Absorption Experiences Using Image Schemata

in Projections
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  • 1 University of Augsburgkatalin.balint@phil.uni-augsburg.de
  • | 2 University of AmsterdamE.S.H.Tan@uva.nl
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Narrative absorption is a spontaneous temporary change in the state of consciousness due to an exceptionally intense awareness of a fictional narrative. This article investigates the experiential level of narrative absorption, namely what it is like to be absorbed in a cinematic or printed narrative. Following a cognitive linguistic approach the article assumes that in order to establish understanding of the experiential level of narrative absorption it is necessary to examine how people express their experience. The article proposes that the concept of image schema is a fruitful way to represent the content of viewers' and readers' consciousness so as to identify relevant mental schemata of absorbed narrative experiences. To generate rich descriptions of narrative absorption an interview study was conducted. The interviews qualitatively employing the image schemas as the system of the thematic analysis were examined for this research. The Centre-Periphery, Container, and the Source-Path-Goal schemas provide deeper insight into the nature and structure of recurring embodied patterns of absorption with fictional narratives.


The Journal for Movies and Mind