The FILLM Newsletter
|A Humanizing Literary Pragmatics.Theory, Criticism, Education. Selected Papers 1985-2002.|
Roger D. Sell
Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins, 2019
much of his earlier work Roger D. Sell was shaping literary studies,
historical perspectives, and pragmatics into a fluent
interdisciplinarity. This enabled him to explore the fundamentally
human relationships which develop between literary writers and those
who respond to them.
writers, through their handling of deixis, evaluative and modal
expressions, tellability, politeness norms, and genre expectations,
activate the same interpersonal function of language as do other
language users, and respondents’ hermeneutic contextualizations of
literary texts are. Not that context is completely determinative. In
Sell’s account, human beings are profoundly influenced by society, but
can sometimes enter into co-adaptations with it. Like other people,
literary writers and their respondents are “social individuals”, who
themselves benefit from respecting each other’s relative autonomy.
well as explaining these theoretical positions, the papers selected
here offered critical re-assessments of some major writers, including
Chaucer and Dickens. They also suggested new ways of dealing with
literary texts in literary and language education at all levels.
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