Stark style solidarity : reader identification and emotional immersion in Rebecca Brown's literary minimalismStark style solidarity : reader identification and emotional immersion in Rebecca Brown's literary minimalism
Faculty of Arts. Linguistics and Literature
Literature and Modernity
Orbis litterarum. - Copenhague
67(2012):3, p. 171-192
University of Antwerp
The work of the contemporary lesbian author Rebecca Brown (born 1956) can be read in the light of Richard Rortys claim that literature is the primary medium for an exploration and expansion of our notion of the human. Brown seizes upon the convention of literary minimalism to place lesbianism at the heart of a canon traditionally embodied by Ernest Hemingway and Raymond Carver. Through typical minimalist methods pertaining to character and narrator, her writing arguably encourages the readers emotional immersion as well as a heightened reader identification. This makes her mainly lesbian protagonists vital actors in literatures stimulation of empathy via role‐taking opportunities. Almost forcing readers into imaginatively identifying with frequently abjected others by means of minimal and consequential characterization, anti‐sentimentalism, and narratorial neutrality, Browns work strives to evoke solidarity in mainstream readers they are pushed into seeing subjects who are as yet largely excluded from a general idea of the human as one of us.