Negative Emotions in the Reception of Fictional Narratives

A Cognitive Approach


An important aspect of narrative motivation is emotional understanding. The sequence of events completes an emotional cadence in the audience, which makes narratives meaningful for them. In this regard, negative emotions have an outstanding role. Based on general emotion-theories, positive emotions support approaching action tendencies while negative emotions endorse distancing and avoiding. However, this notion is not valid for aesthetic reception, because as research shows, aesthetic objects eliciting negative emotions greatly attract recipients and increase the intensity of the aesthetic experience. In aesthetic experience, it seems, negative emotions interweave with pleasure; moreover, they can be a source of pleasure. The studies of this volume discuss the role of negative emotions in the reception of fictional narratives with special interest to fear and disgust.

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Márta Horváth is an assistant professor at the Department of Austrian Literary and Cultural Studies at the University of Szeged, and the head of the Cognitive Poetics Research Group.
Gábor Simon is a lecturer at the Department of Modern Hungarian Linguistics at Eötvös Loránd University Budapest. He is a member of the DiAGram Research Centre for Functional Linguistics.
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