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Paper for the AULLA Conference 2016 paper. "The Seduction of Fiction: A Psychological Approach to Fiction

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Paper for the AULLA Conference 2016 paper. "The Seduction of Fiction: A Psychological Approach to Fiction

Love & the Word - AULLA Conference 2016

Hosted by Victoria University, the Australasian Universities Languages & Literature Association Conference will be held in Melbourne, Australia from 7th-9th December 2016.

Title: The Seduction of Fiction: A Psychological Approach to Fiction.

For non-professional readers, fiction largely follows the impulses of the heart when it comes to selecting a book, being immersed in its reading and judging its content. Professional readers (i.e. those under an obligation to read, whether in an institutional or professional context) seem to act differently, or at least to overlook the importance of the seduction scene between readers and fiction. Even if the scientific approach to the humanities partakes of a need to objectify the assessment criteria within the educational sector, turning critical practices into some form of science will surely not help reinstate the place and value of emotions in relation to reading. The challenge is therefore to solve the paradox which aims at acknowledging and reinstating the subjectivity of reading practices by taking into account the plasticity of interpretation and its emotional aspects within secondary and tertiary education, systems that for the most part still require objective analyses. My paper will therefore explore the various forms of attachment and emotions that come into play when choosing, purchasing, reading and interpreting fiction by contrasting the different responses from non-professional and professional readers. Ultimately, my argumentation will reveal the strange paradox which affects literature in educational context.


Jean-François Vernay is a bilingual teacher and a writer of nonfiction as well as fiction. A Guest Editor for Cercles: Revue pluridisciplinaire du monde anglophone (France) and for Antipodes: A Global Journal of Australian/New Zealand Literature (USA), Vernay is the author of Water from the Moon: Illusion and Reality in the Works of Australian Novelist Christopher Koch (New-York: Cambria Press, 2007), and two other literary monographs published in Paris, whose translations were released in 2016 as A Brief Take on the Australian Novel (Adelaide: Wakefield Press) and The Seduction of Fiction: A Plea for Putting Emotions Back into Literary Interpretation (New York: Palgrave Macmillan), as part of the Palgrave Studies in Affect Theory and Literary Criticism Series.

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