Explorations of Consciousness in Contemporary Fiction


Explorations of Consciousness in Contemporary Fiction is a collection of essays examining the potential of the contemporary English-language novel to represent and inquire into various aspects of the human mind. Grounded in contemporary literary theory as well as consciousness studies, the essays consider both narrative techniques by means of which writers attempt to render various states of consciousness (such as multimodality in digital fiction or experimental typography in post-traumatic narratives), and novelistic interpretations of issues currently being investigated by neurobiologists, cognitive scientists and philosophers of the mind (such as the adaptive value of consciousness or the process of self-integration by means of self-narration). The volume thus offers critical reflection upon the novel’s cognitive accomplishment in this challenging area. Contributors are: Nathan D. Frank, Judit Friedrich, Justyna Galant, Marta Komsta, Péter Kristóf Makai, Ajitpaul Mangat, Grzegorz Maziarczyk, James McAdams, Daniel Panka, Barbara Puschmann-Nalenz, Joanna Klara Teske, Lloyd Issac Vayo, Dóra Vecsernyés, Sylwia Wilczewska
Restricted Access


EUR €115.00USD $133.00

Biographical Note

Grzegorz Maziarczyk, Ph.D. (2003), John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin, is Head of Department of American Literature and Culture at that university. He has published monographs and articles on contemporary fiction, including The Novel as Book (KUL Press, 2013). Joanna Klara Teske, Ph.D. (2007), John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin, is Assistant Professor in the Institute of English Studies. She has published on contemporary fiction and cognitive theory of art, including Contradictions in Art: The Case of Postmodern Fiction (2016).

Table of contents

b>Notes on Contributors Introduction: Contemporary Fiction and ConsciousnessGrzegorz Maziarczyk and Joanna Klara Teske 1 “Unquantifiable factors”: The Concept of Qualia in Two Novels about Artificial Intelligence by Richard Powers and David GerroldDániel Panka 2 Creations of the Posthuman Mind: Consciousness in Peter Watts’s BlindsightJustyna Galant 3 “Men are Noisy creachers”: Dystopian Consciousness in Patrick Ness’s Chaos Walking Trilogy   Marta Komsta 4 Autistic Consciousness Represented: Fictional Mental Functioning of a Different KindPéter Kristóf Makai 5 Embodied Consciousness: Autism, Life Writing, and the Limits of the Cognitive ParadigmAjitpaul Mangat 6 Reality of the Unreal: The Use of Contradiction in Postmodern Fiction Exploring the Creative Potential of the Human MindJoanna Klara Teske 7 Art, Madness and the Divine in Russell Hoban’s The Medusa FrequencySylwia Wilczewska 8 Narrated Madness: Extreme States of Consciousness in A.S. Byatt’s Frederica QuartetBarbara Puschmann-Nalenz 9 Richard Powers’s “Hybrid Bastard”: The Echo Maker and “The Postpsychiatric Novel”James McAdams 10 Bullet in the Head: Jess Walter’s The Zero and the Conscious Conscience of 9/11Lloyd Isaac Vayo 11 The Embodied Mind: Janice Galloway’s The Trick is to Keep BreathingDóra Vecsernyés 12 Addressing the Self in Keri Hulme’s the bone peopleJudit Friedrich 13 Multimodality, Interactivity and Embodiment: Representation of Consciousness in Digital NarrativesGrzegorz Maziarczyk 14 The Mind of Then We Came to the End: A Transmental Approach to Contemporary MetafictionNathan D. Frank Index


Academic libraries; undergraduate and postgraduates students as well as academics researching the theory of the novel, literary representation of consciousness and contemporary English-language fiction.