The theory of Blending, or Conceptual Integration, proposed by Gilles Fauconnier and Marc Turner, is one of most promising cognitive theories of meaning production. It has been successfully applied to the analysis of poetic discourse and micro-textual elements, such as metaphor. Prose narrative has so far received significantly less attention. The present volume aims to remedy this situation. Following an introductory discussion of the connections between narrative and the processes of blending, the contributions demonstrate the range of applications of the theory to the study of narrative. They cover issues such as time and space, literary character and perspective, genre, story levels, and fictional minds; some chapters show how such phenomena as metalepsis, counterfactual narration, intermediality, extended metaphors, and suspense can be fruitfully studied from the vantage point of Conceptual Integration. Working within a theoretical framework situated at the intersection of narratology and the cognitive sciences, the book provides both fresh readings for individual literary and film narratives and new impulses for post-classical narratology.
Ralf Schneider and Marcus Hartner, University of Bielefeld, Germany.