chapter  10
Too much blague? An exploration of the text worlds of Donald Barthelme’s Snow White
An exploration of the text worlds of Donald Barthelme’s Editors’ preface
BySnow White Joanna Gavins
Pages 16

The next two chapters in this collection can be seen to be closely connected, both in terms of their central subject matter and in terms of their particular approach to cognitive poetics. Joanna Gavins’ Text World Theory analysis of a Donald Barthelme novel in this chapter, and Catherine Emmott’s examination of ‘twists in the tale’ in the next chapter, are both informed by what can be termed a ‘discourse’ approach to their subject. Both authors are centrally concerned with the cognitive poetics of entire texts and with understanding how readers build and maintain complex mental representations of their narratives. While Gavins chooses Barthelme’s Snow White as an example of a cognitively challenging piece of literature, Emmott considers how readers deal with unexpected twists in plot. You should find that these explorations form an interesting development of the ideas about text worlds initially discussed, in Chapter 7, by Elena Semino.