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Durham University

Department of English Studies


Academic Staff

Publication details for Dr Marco Bernini

Bernini, M. (2018). Affording Innerscapes: Dreams, Introspective Imagery and the Narrative Exploration of Personal Geographies. Frontiers of Narrative Studies 4(2): 291-311.

Author(s) from Durham


The essay presents an interdisciplinary theory of what it will call “innerscapes”: artefactual representations of the mind as a spatially extended world. By bringing examples of innerscapes from literature (Kafka’s short story The Bridge), radio plays (Samuel Beckett’s Embers), and a creative documentary about auditory-verbal hallucinations (a voice-hearer’s short film, Adam + 1), it suggests that these spatial renditions of the mind are constructed by transforming the quasi-perceptual elements of inner experience into affording ecologies. In so doing, they enable an enactive exploration of inner worlds as navigable environments. The resulting storyworlds display features that resemble the logic and ontology of dreams. Cognitive research on dreams and cartographical studies of the personal geographies of dreamscapes will thus inform the understanding of what innerscapes are, do and can do if used, as the essay argues they should be, as enhancing devices for what Jesse Butler has called ‘extended introspection” (2013: 95).

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