Making Sense of Narrative Text: Situation, Repetition, and Picturing in the Reading of Short Stories, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Making Sense of Narrative Text

Situation, Repetition, and Picturing in the Reading of Short Stories, 1st Edition

By Michael Toolan


272 pages

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Paperback: 9780367023522
pub: 2018-08-23
Hardback: 9781138654846
pub: 2016-06-27
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781315622965
pub: 2016-06-03
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This book takes the following question as its starting point: What are some of the crucial things the reader must do in order to make sense of a literary narrative? The book is a study of the texture of narrative fiction, using stylistics, corpus linguistic principles (especially Hoey’s work on lexical patterning), narratological ideas, and cognitive stylistic work by Werth, Emmott, and others. Michael Toolan explores the textual/grammatical nature of fictional narratives, critically re-examining foundational ideas about the role of lexical patterning in narrative texts, and also engages the cognitive or psychological processes at play in literary reading. The study grows out of the theoretical questions that stylistic analyses of extended fictional texts raise, concerning the nature of narrative comprehension and the reader’s experience in the course of reading narratives, and particularly concerning the role of language in that comprehension and experience. The ideas of situation, repetition and picturing are all central to the book’s argument about how readers process story, and Toolan also considers the ethical and emotional involvement of the reader, developing hypotheses about the text-linguistic characteristics of the most ethically and emotionally involving portions of the stories examined. This book makes an important contribution to the study of narrative text and is in dialogue with recent work in corpus stylistics, cognitive stylistics, and literary text and texture.

Table of Contents

1. From Intersentential Connection to Interpersonal Engagement 2. Patterning by Lexical Repetition and "The Princess and the Pea" 3. Situation 4. Mental Picturing 5. Integrating lexical patterning and the 'pictured' narrative situation 6. Attempting to bring it all together: repeated renewal of the pictured situation

About the Author

Michael Toolan is Professor of English Language at the University of Birmingham, UK.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Rhetoric and Stylistics

Routledge Studies in Rhetoric and Stylistics offers original, dynamic academic investigations into the related fields of rhetoric and stylistics. Books will focus on rhetorical or stylistic approaches to pedagogy, cognition, emotion, corpora, and multimodality, incorporating analytic studies conducted on the synchronic and/or diachronic discourses of literature, politics, law, news, advertisements, business, academe, and other subjects. This exciting series offers an innovative and challenging range of texts, providing rich resources for students and researchers alike.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / General