(3899 words)
  • Peter Gerald Crisp (Chinese University of Hong Kong)

Literary/ Cultural Context Essay

  • The Literary Encyclopedia. Volume 12: Global Voices, Global Histories: World Literatures and Cultures.

Many people still think of stylistics as consisting of the study of the surface features of language, such as the distribution of sound patterns, grammatical constructions, and vocabulary types, in order to identify or characterize a given style, whether that of an author, a genre, a period or an individual text. While something like this might have been an adequate, or partially adequate, characterization of stylistics fifty or sixty years ago, it is not at all adequate now. The concern with surface stylistic features persists, of course, but contemporary stylistics is concerned above all with how those features are interpreted by the minds of readers, with how, by starting from those linguistic features as indications and prompts, …

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Crisp, Peter Gerald. "Stylistics". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 15 July 2010
[, accessed 01 July 2015.]