‘Images that Wouldn’t Leave’: A Typology of Pleasure in Tracey Slaughter’s Short Fiction
Tracey’s Slaughter’s short fiction in Deleted Scenes for Lovers has been widely described in terms of drawing attention to the sensory experience of language — an experience I would categorise as a visceral form of reading pleasure. In ‘On Reading’ Roland Barthes famously asked, ‘Are there different pleasures of reading? Is there a possible typology of these pleasures?’ (39). My talk will situate the embodied experience of reading Slaughter’s short fiction into a typology of pleasure arising from textual analysis and insights adapted from neuroaesthetics. Neuroaesthetics is a broad and emerging field that attempts to examine the mental processes of aesthetic experience.
Thom Conroy is the author of two novels, The Salted Air and The Naturalist, both with Penguin Random-House. He is the editor of the essay collection Home (Massey University Press 2017). His short fiction has been recognized by Best American Short Stories 2012 and has won other awards, including the Katherine Ann Porter Prize in Fiction and the Sunday Star Times Short Fiction Competition. He is also a Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at Massey University.