Chemodurova Z.M. Reader, I Married Him, or the Mechanism of Attentional Convergence in the English-Language Narrative

DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu2.2020.2.6

Zinaida M. Chemodurova

Doctor of Sciences (Philology), Associate Professor, Department of English and Cultural Studies, Herzen State Pedagogical University of Russia

Reki Moyki Emb., 48, 191186 Saint Petersburg, Russia

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9638-2503


Abstract. The current paper investigates the mechanism of attentional convergence viewed as a type of formal text organization which is based on the convergent potential of several types of foregrounding and is used by writers to stimulate cognitive activities of their readers. The article offers the analysis of the "attentional effects" produced by the combinatorial use of the false expectancy mechanism, coupling, convergence of stylistic devices, salient textual positions of the ultimate narrative beginning and ending, intertextual markers. The hypothesis formulated in the article suggests that the effect of the attentional convergence might be responsible for causing cognitive dissonance as an inherent component of the interpretational programmes modern writers devise for their readers. The article describes the effect caused by the attentional convergence on the readers of short stories created by renowned English-Language female authors, such as J. Briscoe, T. Chevalier, E. Freud, T. Hadley, S. Hill, S. Vickers, to name just a few of the 21 writers, who contributed to the collection entitled "Reader, I Married Him" inspired by "Jane Eyre" and Charlotte Bronte's bicentenary. The analysis carried out in the article focuses on the linguocultural features of gender constructing, undertaken in these modern stories and reflecting diverse attitudes of modern female authors to the issues of gender stereotypes, gender roles, gender motivated patterns of behaviour. The findings presented in the article prove the relevance of a further investigation of various attention focusing mechanisms enhancing the expressiveness of the literary texts and increasing their pragmatic effect on readers.

Key words: type of foregrounding, attention focusing mechanism, attentional convergence, convergent potential, narrative, gender configuration, gender stereotype.

Citation. Chemodurova Z.M. Reader, I Married Him, or the Mechanism of Attentional Convergence in the English-Language Narrative. Vestnik Volgogradskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta. Seriya 2. Yazykoznanie [Science Journal of Volgograd State University. Linguistics], 2020, vol. 19, no. 2, pp. 66-77. (in Russian). DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu2.2020.2.6

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