This collection extends the conversation beginning with Gail Jefferson’s seminal 1996 article, "On the Poetics of Ordinary Talk," linking the poetics of ordinary talk with the work of poets to bring together critical perspectives on new data from talk-in-interaction and applications of Jefferson’s poetics to literary discourse.
Bringing together contributions from Conversation Analysis and literary scholars, the book begins by analyzing the presentation which served as the genesis for Jefferson’s article to highlight the occurrence of poetics in institutional talk. The first section then provides an in-depth examination of case studies from Conversation Analysis which draw on new data from naturally occurring discourse. The second half explores literary poetics as a form of institutional talk emerging from the poetics of ordinary talk, offering new possibilities for interpreting work in classics, biblical studies, folklore studies and contemporary literature. Each chapter engages in a discussion of Jefferson’s article toward reinforcing the relationships between the two disciplines and indicating a way forward for interdisciplinary scholarship.
The collection highlights the enduring influence of Jefferson’s poetics to our understanding of language, both talk-in interaction and literary discourse, making this book of particular interest to students and researchers in Conversation Analysis, literary studies, stylistics, and pragmatics.
Table of Contents
Introduction: John P. Rae, Robin Wooffitt, and Raymond F. Person, Jr., Bridging the Gap: Conversation Analysis and Poetics from Jefferson to Now
Part 1: Studies in Poetics: Talk-In-Interaction
Chapter 1: Ian Hutchby, Poetics and Performativity in the Management of Delicacy and Affiliation
Chapter 2: Elizabeth Holt, A Walk on the Wild Side: Exploring Associations Across Topic Transition in Interaction
Chapter 3: John P. Rae, On Doing Things through Topical Puns and Near-Synonyms in Conversation
Chapter 4: Robin Wooffitt, Darren Reed, Jessica A. Young, and Clare Jackson, The Poetics in Jefferson’s Poetics Lecture
Part 2: Studies in Poetics: Literature
Chapter 5: Hugo Bowles, The Poetics of Mrs Gamp’s Conversation—Are They Dickens’s ‘Slips of the Pen’
Chapter 6: Anna Bonifazi, Dialogic Syntax in Ancient Greek Conversation
Chapter 7: Frog, Repetition, Parallelism, and Non-Repetition: From Ordinary Talk to Ritual Poetry and Back Again
Chapter 8: Raymond F. Person, Jr., Poetics and List-Construction: A Study of Text-Critical Variants in Lists Found in the New Testament, Homer, and the Hebrew Bible
Raymond F. Person, Jr. is Professor of Religion at Ohio Northern University, USA. Although his primary area of expertise is the study of the Hebrew Bible, he has published three monographs and various journal articles applying insights from CA not only to the Bible, but also to Homer, Shakespeare, and other literature, the most recent being From Conversation to Oral Tradition: A Simplest Systematics for Oral Traditions (Routledge, 2016).
John P. Rae is Reader in Psychology, University of Roehampton, UK. He studies talk and body movement in social interaction. He is interested in interaction involving neurotypical participants and also in interactions involving persons with a challenged capacity (e.g., people with aphasia or with an autistic spectrum disorder).
Robin Wooffitt is Professor of Sociology at the University of York, UK. He is interested in language, interaction, everyday poetics, and ostensibly anomalous experiences. He is the author or co-author of eight books, including Conversation Analysis (with Ian Hutchby; Polity, 2008), Looking in and Speaking Out: Introspection, Communication, Consciousness (with Nicola Holt; Imprint Academic, 2011), and Telling Tales of the Unexpected: The Organisation of Factual Discourse (Harvester Wheatsheaf, 1992).