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date: 27 January 2020

Abstract and Keywords

A popular metaphor that figures prominently in current literary scholarship is that of “transportation.” This term refers to the subjective experience of being so engrossed in the story world that one loses a sense of connection with one’s immediate surroundings. In current scholarship, “transportation” is often presented as a fundamental aspect of literary processing, with critical effects on reception, memory, and response. This chapter begins with a critical review of the concept, revealing its limited value for understanding the literary effects on readers. As an alternative, the chapter provides a description of some of the component cognitive processes that are likely involved in producing the subjective experience of story-world engagement. It is argued that such an inventory of processes provides a more useful account of many of the effects attributed to transport.

Keywords: transportation, literary processing, literary effect, cognitive processes, story-world engagement

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