8. Talking about Fiction

  1. Keith Oatley

Published Online: 15 JUL 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9781119970910.ch8

Such Stuff as Dreams: The Psychology of Fiction

Such Stuff as Dreams: The Psychology of Fiction

How to Cite

Oatley, K. (2011) Talking about Fiction, in Such Stuff as Dreams: The Psychology of Fiction, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781119970910.ch8

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 JUL 2011
  2. Published Print: 15 JUL 2011

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780470974575

Online ISBN: 9781119970910



  • talking about fiction, interpretation in conversation - engaging with it in the first place;
  • best books, on talking about fiction - How to talk about books you haven't read;
  • Frederic Bartlett's Remembering, new cognitive psychology - what one reads to a schema of what one knows;
  • Bayard's theory of reading and imagination - how can we come to know, and to take in so that they become parts of us;
  • conversation and reading, conversation not being practical - maintaining one's relationships;
  • emotion and fiction - being about people and their doings;
  • categorizing people's memories - and Tom Scheff's scheme of aesthetic distance;
  • psychology of interpretation of texts - and Bill Benzon's “how texts work in the mind and brain”;
  • changes of interpretation, from departments of literature - to reading groups;
  • Anton Chekhov's “The lady with the little dog” - one of the world's great short stories, step to intimacy in one's conversations


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • Orbits of discussion

  • Conversation and reading

  • Talking about books

  • Reading groups

  • Talking of Chekhov

  • From conversation to conversation