Literary stylistics, authorial intention and the scientific study of literature: a critical overview

Guy, Josephine M. and Conklin, Kathy and Sanchez-Davies, Jennifer (2018) Literary stylistics, authorial intention and the scientific study of literature: a critical overview. Language and LIterature . ISSN 0963-9470

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Abstract

A tendency by literary stylisticians to overlook the role of the author in the generation of literary meaning has been a significant source of tension between linguistic approaches to literariness and other practices in the discipline, such as text-editing and literary biography. Recently, however, efforts have been made to close this gap, with the branch of stylistics, cognitive poetics, claiming to have developed a new and empirical method of integrating an appreciation of authorial imagination and creativity into the study of readers' responses to the language of literary texts. We examine these claims critically, testing the grounds of assertions about scientific rigour in relation to demands about model testing and falsifiability associated with the scientific study of literature more generally. We then explore how some other methodologies, technologies and insights associated with this last branch of the discipline might be brought to bear on the topic of authorial intention, with the aim of determining whether, and in what ways, our understanding of an authorial intention, and its role in literary processing, might be furthered through empirical enquiry.

Item Type: Article
Schools/Departments: University of Nottingham, UK > Faculty of Arts > School of English
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1177/0963947018788518
Depositing User: Sanchez-Davies, Jennifer
Date Deposited: 21 May 2018 13:09
Last Modified: 19 Sep 2018 10:31
URI: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/51901

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