Reading Group with Ana Margarida Abrantes

The LCE Reading Group discusses voice descriptions and emotional cues in narrative.

Two people reading side by side.
Photo: Pexels

Time: 22 August 2022, 14.15

Voice is a polysemous word that can stand for a grammatical mood, narrating instance and angle, an actual sound produced and perceived or the phenomenological account of inner speech. In narratology, voice has been studied along with perspective as categories that ascertain who speaks vs. who sees and thus help establish the position of the narrating instance with respect to that is narrated.

However, voice can be the topic of the narrative itself: a text can describe voice cues and how characters perceive and emotionally respond to these voices. Also, expressive voice descriptions in literature may trigger similar emotional responses to those obtained in actual discourse. This encourages further research in the field of audionarratology, particularly in how audiobooks and print narratives are received and emotionally processed.

In this session of the reading group, Abrantes will sketch out and discuss possibilities of research on voice in narrative. Drawing on work on audionarratology and multimodality, we will discuss the narratives by Davis, Munro and Weiss and how these could be studied regarding how voice cues are construed so as to engender an aural way of worldmaking and induce an emotional response.

Reading material:

  • Brück et al. (2014). "'Inner voices': The cerebral representation of emotional voice cues described in literary texts." in Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 9 (11), pp. 1819–1827
  • Davis, Lydia. (2013). "From below, as a neighbor" in The collected stories of Lydia Davis. London: Penguin, pp. XXII, 733
  • Munro, Alice. (2012) "Voices" in Dear Life. London: Chatto & Windus, p. 319
  • Weiss, Peter. (1964). Der Schatten des Körpers des Kutschers. Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp, pp. 38–47

If you wish to participate in this Reading Group, please contact Karin Kukkonen:

Published Aug. 17, 2022 11:19 AM - Last modified Aug. 17, 2022 11:19 AM