In Body of Vision, Michael Sinding connects Northrop Frye’s groundbreaking contributions to our understanding of the human imagination with cognitive poetics – the cutting-edge school of literary criticism that applies the principles of cognitive science to the interpretation of literary texts and contexts. Sinding undertakes this task through analyses of the interplay of metaphoric and narrative schemas in several forms of cultural mythology.
Sinding identifies the profound connections between cognitive views of language, literature, and culture and Frye’s views by exploring three related aspects of Frye’s work – meaning and thought, culture and society, and literary history. He investigates these connections through detailed studies of major cultural texts including Dante’s Divine Comedy, Hobbes’ Leviathan, Rousseau’s Social Contract, and Milton’s "Lycidas." By linking Frye’s classic studies to exciting recent approaches in the humanities and the cognitive revolution of the past few decades, Body of Vision casts Frye’s achievements in a fascinating new light.
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Michael Sinding is Marie Curie Fellow in the Department of Language and Communication at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.
“In Body of Vision Michael Sinding has taken on a large intellectual assignment, involving a great deal of hard thinking, and he has succeeded splendidly. I know of no one else in Frye studies who has written so knowledgeably and non-tendentiously about Frye’s ideas in relation to cognitive poetics and poststructuralism. It is something of a marvel how much this tightly reasoned and beautifully organized book contains.”(Alvin Lee, General Editor, The Collected Works of Northrop Frye)
“Timely, relevant, and insightful, Body of Vision is a thoughtful and revealing study of Northrop Frye’s important contribution to the field of cognitive poetics. There is a pan-historical continuity in the ‘metaphors we live by,’ Frye showed, a continuity that has at least as much to do with how the brain works as with where the brain finds itself. The inference deserves a hearing and Sinding proves to be an ideal listener for such as these mindful patterns that continue to challenge and improve findings in cultural studies and the variety of social concern criticisms.”(Jeffery Donaldson, Department of English, McMaster University)
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