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Such Stuff as Dreams


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Table of Contents



1 Fiction as dream: Models, world-building, simulation.

2 The space-in-between: Childhood play as the entrance to fiction.

3 Creativity: Imagined worlds.

4 Character, action, incident: Mental models of people and their doings.

5 Emotions: Scenes in the imagination.

6 Writing fiction: Cues for the reader.

7 Effects of fiction: Is fiction good for you?

8 Talking about fiction: Interpretation in conversation.



Name Index.

Subject Index.

About the Author

Keith Oatley is Professor Emeritus of Cognitive Psychology at the University of Toronto. He is the co-author of Understanding Emotions (Blackwell, 2006), the most widely used textbook on this subject, and has written three works of fiction, including The Case of Emily V. (1993), which won the 1994 Commonwealth Writers Prize for Best First Novel.


Such Stuff as Dreamsis a remarkable book in several ways.It stands out by the breadth of the topics covered, extendingbeyond the reader to also include the writing and the communicationabout fiction, and by the diversity and richness of the manydifferent concepts and studies brought to bear upon thetopic. ( JLTonline , 1 July 2014 Review copy sent on 29.05.14 to PsycCRITIQUES Featured in The Scotsman - 25 July 2011 Featured in TheYorkshire Post - 23 August 2011 Featured in The Guardian - 22 July 2012 Featured in The Independent - 28 August 2012 Featured in The Globe & Mail - 9September 2011 BBCRadio 4 interview - 7 July 2012 Featured in Times Literary Supplement - 30 March 2012 " Such Stuff as Dreams is a welcome and well-informedforay into a neglected research area. As someone who has thoughtvery hard about the making of fiction as well as the creativeengagement with it, Oatley is an excellent guide to the science ofan art form whose value, in this brave new world of cognitiveneuroscience, is undiminshed. His claim is that fiction, like otherart forms, allows us to experience emotions in new contexts, andthus learn more about these emotions and ourselves. His achievementis to show us the many ways in which this is true." (ThePsychologist, April 2012) "Summing Up: Highly recommended. Lower-division undergraduatesthrough faculty; general readers." (Choice, 1 January 2012) "Fiction, according to this cognitive psychologist, is a "dream"or mental "model" or "simulation", and now its effects can beprobed with modern scientific techniques ... Oatley explains withenthusiasm the results of his and others' experiments on readers."(The Guardian, 22 July 2011) "Keith Oatley's book asks why we read, and what happens to ourmind when we do. It is a winning combination of psychology,literary criticism and speculation." (The Scotsman, 30 July2011) Review in The Times and The Sunday Times e- paper -12/07/11. "Much of the discussion is compelling, and this book could wellchange the way you read ... Still, his writing is entertainingand he's tapping into a rich vein, and I hope he will explore thesubject further." (New Scientist, 23 July 2011)?

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