Literary Representations of Dementia: Evoking Empathy through the Use of Narrative Devices
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This thesis discusses the literary representation of memory loss in novels about dementia. The central question is how literature can contribute to a more empathetic understanding, not only of patients suffering from this disease, but also of the predicament of those who care for these patients. The thesis discusses the three novels “Hersenschimmen” by Jan Bernlef, “Still Alice” by Lisa Genova, and “Elizabeth is Missing” by Emma Healey, and focusses on a number of stylistic devices, using as a theoretical framework mainly narratology and reader response theory.