(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, …

Please log in to consult the article in its entirety. If you are a member (student of staff) of a subscribing institution (see List), you should be able to access the LE on campus directly (without the need to log in), and off-campus either via the institutional log in we offer, or via your institution's remote access facilities, or by creating a personal user account with your institutional email address. If you are not a member of a subscribing institution, you will need to purchase a personal subscription. For more information on how to subscribe as an individual user, please see under Individual Subcriptions.

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