Abstract

Abstract:

Some fictional narratives make use of certain kinds of tension in order to evoke anxiety in audience members. Why do we enjoy feeling anxiety in this context, even as we try to avoid it in others? In this paper I describe two kinds of narrative tension that are often utilized to evoke such feelings and investigate what makes the experience of these tensions enjoyable. I conclude that we enjoy narrative tension only when we feel a deep trust in the author. When this trust is lost, the experience is no longer enjoyable and the tension is judged an aesthetic flaw.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-329X
Print ISSN
0190-0013
Pages
pp. 325-346
Launched on MUSE
2017-02-23
Open Access
No
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