This article looks at Don DeLillo’s novel The Body Artist through the lens of cognitive literary criticism, unpacking the intersection of time, intersubjectivity, and identity. Building on cognitive linguistic principles, the article’s methodology examines diverse linguistic phenomena from grammatical tense and mood to sound symbolism, ultimately demonstrating the resonances between the thematic trajectory of the novel and the neurophysiological mechanism of temporal synchronization: the unconscious capacity to “catch” the subjective experience of time from other people. Cognizance of this resonance not only deepens our understanding the novel’s thematic trajectory, but offers a new critical framework to examine temporal shifts, and their implications, within narrative and character.
“Body Time”:A Cognitive Perspective on Don DeLillo’s The Body Artist
Isabelle Wentworth is a PhD candidate at the University of New South Wales. This article is part of her research in the field of cognitive literary criticism, exploring representations of subjective time in contemporary literature.
Isabelle Wentworth; “Body Time”:A Cognitive Perspective on Don DeLillo’s The Body Artist. Poetics Today 1 December 2019; 40 (4): 699–720. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/03335372-7739099
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