Abstract for 2008 Honors Colloquium

James Gertzog


"Enlightenment and Comfort at Top Speed: Cognitive spaces and blending in the fiction of Kurt Vonnegut and Gabriel García Márquez"

This project applies the framework of mental space theory, a recent development in the field of cognitive linguistics, to an analysis of the fiction of Kurt Vonnegut and Gabriel García Márquez. Both authors utilize explicitly fictional techniques in their body of work (science fiction and magical realism) and nevertheless offer solutions to real-world problems. A cognitive approach to "Cat's Cradle," "Galápagos," and "One Hundred Years of Solitude" will elucidate the intricate play between the textual language and the reader's personal context: how individuals make sense of fiction and how these interpretations direct cultural discourse.