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Enacting hallucinatory experience in fiction : metalepsis, agency, and the phenomenology of reading in Muriel Spark's The Comforters.

Foxwell, John (2019) 'Enacting hallucinatory experience in fiction : metalepsis, agency, and the phenomenology of reading in Muriel Spark's The Comforters.', Style, 50 (2). pp. 139-157.

Abstract

This article examines Muriel Spark’s first novel, The Comforters, in the light of her autobiographical account of the hallucinations she experienced prior to writing the novel. In particular, it focuses on how Spark represents hallucinatory experience through the use of experimental metafictional devices, such as the metaleptic intrusion of the narrative voice into the storyworld. These devices, it is argued, can be viewed as carrying out two distinct yet integrated functions, on the one hand conveying aspects of the phenomenology of auditory verbal hallucinations by eliciting a certain type of readerly response, while on the other serving to represent the destabilization of the protagonist’s senses of self and agency which is attendant upon her hallucinatory experiences.

Item Type:Article
Full text:(AM) Accepted Manuscript
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Status:Peer-reviewed
Publisher Web site:https://doi.org/10.1353/sty.2016.0007
Date accepted:20 January 2016
Date deposited:15 July 2019
Date of first online publication:12 July 2019
Date first made open access:No date available

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