Literature, Performance, and Somaesthetics views textual and extra-textual worlds as intimately connected, as forming a continuum, in fact. The essays – on literature, philosophy and the arts – gathered here derive their theoretical inspirations from two realms where embodiment and agency are particularly stressed: namely, from philosophical somaesthetics, a discipline proposed by Richard Shusterman in 1999, and from performance studies, remarkable for its current expansion. In most general terms, the point of convergence for somaesthetics and performativity is their stressing the agency of the embodied and sentient human self. The contributors explore the question of agency in its various manifestations. They examine the construction of literary characters, with emphasis on the representation of their corporeality and affectivity. They look into the problem of the formation of the literary canon as en-acted rather than established, and into literary history as retold rather than re-written. They also focus on the problems of literary reception, considering it on the physical, visceral level. While showing keen interest in performance studies and somaesthetics, the authors also bring in the expertise gained in their primary fields of research. Hence, the ideas explored in their essays are drawn from philosophy, literary theory, cultural studies, psychology, and hard science. The essays here are concerned with a variety of generic forms – epic literature, lyrical poetry, tragedy, experimental novel, thriller, literary history, theological treatise, documentary, flamenco and opera – in order to outline the field in the humanities where literature, philosophy and performance can meet, and where literary studies can benefit from the approaches offered by performance studies and philosophical somaesthetics.