By M. Winkleman, Michael A. Winkelman

Investigations into how the mind truly works have resulted in awesome discoveries and those findings hold profound implications for studying literature. This examine applies fresh breakthroughs from neuroscience and evolutionary psychology for you to deepen our realizing of John Donne's Songs and Sonnets.

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Starting in chapter 2, the bulk of this monograph will be built around close cognitivist interpretations of select Songs and Sonnets. The rest of this chapter, however, will foreground some ancillary matters pertaining to metaphors and the minds that cultivate and harvest them. One mapping metaphor worth pondering is THE MIND IS A PHYSICAL SPACE. This equation seems archetypal, attested in the Old English ferhþ–loca (mind-prison) but undoubtedly far more ancient. ”30 This incipit provides a resonant word picture.

For instance, a statement like “Anderson gave a strong paper; her main point was incisive and her illustrations were on-target” is unlikely to cause confusion. Though she may have read her lecture from a laptop computer (it was not a tangible document delivered to anyone), we automatically decode the meaning. It lacked any physical force, her sharp thesis did not tear any flesh (incisor: a tooth adapted for cutting, from French inciser via Latin incisus, past participle of in + caedere, ‘to cut’), and her spoken examples in this pretend case were not even visible Powerpoint icons and did not hit anything, but it still makes perfect sense.

18 A C O G NIT IVE AP P ROACH TO SONGS AND S ONNETS A Biocultural Reassessment of Their Scandalous Marriage,” uses evolutionary psychology and anthropology to reinterpret Donne’s relationship to the young daughter of a gentleman he secretly wed and his writings about her. The fifth, “‘Firme Substantiall Love’: Donne’s Penetrating Observations,” analyzes the beguiling complexities of “The Flea” in light of vital concerns over virginity, and the postcoital tristesse of “Farewell to Love”—a result of the neurotransmitter prolactin.

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