Literature and Understanding: The Value of a Close Reading of Literary Texts (Literature and Education)
Literature and Understanding investigates the cognitivegain from literature by focussing on a reader’s close analysis of aliterary text. It examines the meaning of ‘literature’, outlinesthe most prominent positions in the literary cognitivism debate,explores the practice of close reading from a philosophicalperspective, provides a fresh account of what we mean by‘understanding’ and in so doing opens up a new area of research inthe philosophy of literature.This book provides a different reply to the challenge that wecan’t learn anything worthwhile from reading literary fiction. Itmakes the innovative case that reading literary fiction asliterature rather than as fiction stimulates five relevant sensesof understanding. The book uses examples of irony, metaphor, playwith perspective and ambiguity to illustrate this contention.Before arguing that these five senses of understanding bridge thegap between our understanding of a literary text and ourunderstanding of the world beyond that text.The book will be of great interest for researchers, scholars andpost-graduate students in the fields of aesthetics, literarytheory, literature in education and pedagogy.