Pragmatics and Fiction by Jon-K. Adams

By Jon-K. Adams

Pragmatics and Fiction explores the elemental pragmatic adjustments among fictional and nonfictional discourse. those adjustments derive commonly from the production of a fictional determine who narrates the textual content and who, in flip, addresses his narrative to a fictional viewers. considering the fact that those figures develop into the language clients of the fictitious textual content and, consequently, displace the particular author and reader from the communicative context, they dominate the text’s pragmatic positive aspects. After elaborating an outline of fiction from the perspective of those fictional language clients, a few of the implications for literary interpretation are taken up, rather these for reader-oriented feedback.

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Pragmatics and Fiction

Pragmatics and Fiction explores the elemental pragmatic alterations among fictional and nonfictional discourse. those changes derive regularly from the construction of a fictional determine who narrates the textual content and who, in flip, addresses his narrative to a fictional viewers. due to the fact those figures develop into the language clients of the fictitious textual content and, for this reason, displace the particular author and reader from the communicative context, they dominate the text’s pragmatic beneficial properties.

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The should I in "how should I begin" becomes would have been. The moment is past; whatever it was that the speaker talked about doing or beginning to do, the time for doing it is gone. This not doing something has an effect on a previous speech act that the speaker repeats: "And indeed there will be time". It now becomes clear that this prediction is not made in order to claim that there is time for the speaker to do something but time for him not to do it. The hearer is invited to go with the speaker to watch him hesitate in 'indecisions' and, by hesitating, not to do something.

In the literary approach to the histor­ ical reader, the critic does not inadvertently transform the reader into a writer, but embraces the fact that poets already are both readers and writers. And the critic, who reads both the text that the poet as historical reader reads and the text that the poet writes, inevitably conflates the reader and the writer. For example, in Gilbert's description of how women as readers and writers have responded to Milton, it is difficult to distinguish Mary Shel­ ley as a reader from Gilbert as a reader: "In an effort to come to terms with the institutionalized and often elaborately metaphorical misogyny Milton's epic expresses, many of these women devised their own revisionary myths and metaphors.

10 Narrative-communication situation Narrative text The box indicates that only the implied author and implied reader are imma­ nent to a narrative, the narrator and narratee are optional (parentheses). The real author and real reader are outside the narrative transaction as such, though, of course, indispensable to it in an ultimate practical sense. (Chatman 1978: 153) In Chatman's diagram the implied author and implied reader are more impor­ tant than the narrator and his counterpart, the narratee, for according to Chatman the implied author and implied reader are necessary for the 'narra­ tive-communication situation' and the narrator and narratee are not.

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