Presentation on theme: "Revision Part I Stylistic 551 Lecture 31. Stylistics: Objectives Understand the importance and function of Style and language in literary works. analyze."— Presentation transcript:
Stylistics: Objectives Understand the importance and function of Style and language in literary works. analyze literary texts on the basis of style. Perform detailed analysis of texts to see how they are constructed and which features distinguish literary expression form non literary expressions. Apply the understanding of stylistics to other non-literary expressions such as news, advertisements, politics, religion.
Stylistics is the study of style used in literary and verbal language and the effects the writer/speaker wishes to communicate to the reader/listener. Stylistics applies linguistics to literature in the hope of arriving at analysis which are more broad, rigorous and objective.
Instead of focusing on What the work is about, stylistics focuses on How the work is composed. WhatHow Theme/Message Style/Form
"The goal of stylistics is not simply to describe the formal features of texts for their own sake, but in order to show their functional significance for the interpretation of the text…“Katie Wales A Dictionary of Stylistics, 2nd ed. (Pearson, 2001),
As a discipline, it links literary criticism to linguistics. It does not function as an autonomous domain on its own, but it can be applied to an understanding of literature. It relies on literary criticism to comment on the quality and meaning of a text for interpretation and understanding.
Development in the Classical Age The further development of stylistics was based on the three classical sources. Poetics led to the development of Literary Criticism and Rhetoric and Dialectics developed into Stylistics.
20 th Century developments Nineteenth-century literary criticism concentrated on the author, and in Britain the text-based criticism of I. A. Richards and William Empson, rejected that approach they concentrate on the literary texts themselves, and how readers were affected by those texts. This approach is often called Practical Criticism. It is matched by a similar critical movement in the USA, associated with Cleanth Brooks, called New Criticism. New Criticism was based almost exclusively on the description of literary works as independent aesthetic objects.
Modern stylistics Modern stylistics has its roots in Russian Formalism and the related Prague School of the early twentieth century. Stylistics can trace its roots to the formalist tradition that developed in Russian literary Criticism at the turn of the 20 th century. Roman Jakobson’s work focused on poetic language and the study of its formal qualities.
Scope of Stylistics Stylistics draws principles of inquiry of text form various sources and disciplines such as Linguistics, Literary Criticism Structuralism Semiotics Sociolinguistics Discourse analysis & Gender Studies
Formal Stylistics How a writer writes: The devices authors use to express their thoughts and to convey the subject matter of works. Style Form What a writer writes The content which these critics refer to as information or message. Information Content
Types of Stylistics Linguistic Stylistics studies the devices in language of literary texts (such as rhetorical figures and syntactical patterns) that are employed to produce expressive or literary style. Literary Stylistics is synonymous to literary criticism. Literary criticism rests solely on subjective interpretation of texts. To decipher message
Features of Linguistic Stylistics Phonological level Graphological level Grammatical level Lexical level Syntactical level Semantic level Morphological level Discourse level
Literary stylistics The analysis of literary devices used in a text. Literary text seen as a self sufficient piece of art. Connotations, denotations Rhyme scheme Figurative language similes, metaphors, personifications, imagery. Enjambment Pathetic fallacy
Literary stylistics Literary stylistics therefore searches for underlying significance, for the essential artistic vision which language is used to express It treats literary works as messages. Takes interpretation of text as its aim Based on analysis of stylistically significant features of text literary devices, deviant use of language
Formalism and its influence on Stylistics Formalists placed an “emphasis on the medium” by analyzing the way in which literature, especially poetry, was able to alter artistically or “make strange” common language so that the everyday world could be “defamliarized.”literature They stressed the importance of form and technique over content and looked for the specificity of literature as an autonomous verbal art.
Formalism Emphasis on autonomous nature of literature Study of literature as neither a reflection of the life of its author nor as byproduct of the historical or cultural milieu in which it was created. Define the ‘formal’ properties of poetic language (in both poetry and prose) Special function of literary language is to reinvigorate language and to redeem it from the insipid and vapid state into which it sinks under the weight of everyday usage.
Key concept of Formalism 1. Literariness Poetic language vs everyday language. The language of literature is distinguishable form the language of everyday use due to its ‘literariness’. Formalists position themselves in an Aristotalian tradition in which “poetic language must appear strange and wonderful”(Shklovsky “Art as technique“ 22)
2. Defamiliarization Making Strange. Art defamiliarizes things that have become habitual or automatic. “the technique of art is to make objects unfamiliar to make forms difficult” (Shklovsky, “Art as Technique” 12)
3.Foregrounding Giving prominence to something in literary works through the artful use of language. It brings certain element of text to the forefront and readers focus their attention on the foregrounded features. eg. Donne’s conceit of a compass in A Valediction Forbidding Mourning”
4. Automatization: Inevitable process by which an artistic object becomes habitual, banal and loses its power as artistic object.