Catharsis as Process

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This paper seeks to build on the partial definition of catharsis that we have from the work of Aristotle and apply this to a variety of modern, popular texts. The article explores Aristotle’s definitions in Poetics (1996) and The Politics (1992) and connects it to the work of Roland Barthes in The Death of the Author (1967) where Barthes asserts that the reader’s experience of the text must be prioritised when analysing its properties rather than the author’s intentions or their previous history of publications.

The article makes use of Donald Davidson’s Rational Animals (1982) to attempt to describe a reader’s experience when reading a text. Davidson’s triangulation framework is recontextualised several times, to demonstrate the relationship between the reader, the text and a series of other influences that are connected to both.

This work examines several aspects of a text and compares texts of different forms – books, film, television and games – analysing the ways in which moments of possible activation connect the reader/audience/player to the text and encourage the process of catharsis. Finally, we look at the way in which the finale of a text can be used to extend the process of catharsis in popular film franchises.
LanguageEnglish
Number of pages14
JournalWriting in Practice: The Journal of Creative Writing
Volume5
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 3 Apr 2019

Fingerprint

Catharsis
Reader
Roland Barthes
Aristotle
Players
Finale
Activation
Triangulation
Intentions
Poetics
Donald Davidson
Animals
Franchise
History
Death of the Author

Keywords

  • Catharsis, Aristotle, triangulation, Poetics, narrative, text, megatext, referential, Davidson, Barthes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Literature and Literary Theory

Cite this

Catharsis as Process. / Stroud, Allen.

In: Writing in Practice: The Journal of Creative Writing, Vol. 5, No. 1, 03.04.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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