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date: 27 January 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter argues that cognitive and rhetorical narrative theory have much to offer each other, and it demonstrates one kind of collaboration through its analysis of Toni Morrison’s “Recitatif,” a story famous for its strategy of representing a thirty-year relationship between “frenemies” of different races while frustrating readers’ efforts to determine which character is black and which one is white. Arguing that Lisa Zunshine’s work on metarepresentation (source tracking) and Alan Palmer’s work on social minds provide valuable insights into Morrison’s strategy, the chapter then uses these insights into its rhetorical view of the character narration, progression, and purposes of Morrison’s story. The chapter concludes by acknowledging that it demonstrates only one kind of collaboration and by calling for others.

Keywords: cognitive theory, rhetorical theory, Toni Morrison, “Recitatif, ” metarepresentation, social mind, character narration, progression

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