Haven’t you ever felt like there has to be more? Identity, space and embodied cognition in young adult fiction

Maria Nikolajeva


The first part of title of the paper is a quotation from a young adult novel by Patrick Ness, More Than This (2013), in which the protagonist awakens, presumably after death, in a new place where he does not know the rules. Through exploring the unfamiliar space, the character gradually comes to insights about his true identity. The paper, based on recent studies in spatiality and cognitive narratology, focuses on the ways fiction for young readers evokes the sense of place and space that supports identity formation. Through a close reading of selected passages from texts describing characters' perception of unfamiliar space, the paper argues that fiction offers readers embodied experience of space and therefore of space-related identity.


Cognitive narratology; Place-related identity; Embodied cognition; Spatiality; Young Adult fiction

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DOI: 10.6092/issn.1825-8670/7604


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