What would a model of the embodied reader look like? Is he tied to the embodied resonances evoked by the text and by extension grounded in the here and now of the represented situation? Or can we integrate the dynamics of the plot in his reading experience? Can the embodied reader take a metaperspective, deciding whether what she reads is reliable, or is she doomed to identification with whatever character is put in front of her? In dialogue with Wolfgang Iser's account of the implied reader, this article develops the model of a second-generation, embodied reader. The model is based on the notion that cognition is situated, embodied and geared to however the world is available to us, but it also considers that this availability depends on predictive, probabilistic judgments of how embodied actions are likely to turn out and how confident we can be in their accuracy. Through “cascades” of such probabilistic judgments, the proposed model connects the embodied reader with the narrative dynamics of plot and metaperspectives.
Published version: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.5325/style.48.3.367