Narrative Progression in the Short Story

A corpus stylistic approach

Michael Toolan | University of Birmingham
ISBN 9789027233387 | EUR 99.00 | USD 149.00
ISBN 9789027233431 | EUR 33.00 | USD 49.95
ISBN 9789027290618 | EUR 99.00/33.00*
| USD 149.00/49.95*
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One of our most valuable capacities is our ability partly to predict what will come next in a text. But linguistic understanding of this remains very limited, especially in genres such as the short story where there is a staging of the clash between predictability and unpredictability. This book proposes that a matrix of narrativity-furthering textual features is crucial to the reader’s forming of expectations about how a literary story will continue to its close. Toolan uses corpus linguistic software and methods, and stylistic and narratological theory, in the course of delineating the matrix of eight parameters that he sees as crucial to creating narrative progression and expectation. The book will be of interest to stylisticians, narratologists, corpus linguists, and short story scholars.
[Linguistic Approaches to Literature, 6] 2009.  xi, 212 pp.
Publishing status: Available
Table of Contents
“With this book, Toolan offers a valuable contribution to the field of corpus stylistics. It is a dense work that is probably not aimed at novices, but is of interest to researchers with at least some background knowledge of corpus tools and/or narratology. It should persuade at least some readers that using tools from corpus linguistics can benefit and expand literary studies, both in terms of speeding up text processing, as well as by raising new and important questions about narrative progression and narratology more generally. Toolan's stance is moderate and sensible: he does not consider corpus tools as the be-all and end-all, but equally emphasises the role of the human analyst in evaluating electronic data.”
“Unlike the regular ticking of a clock, humanity’s progress occurs in leaps and bounds. This is often put down to the erratic nature of our creativity. But what if creativity isn’t as disordered as we think? Perhaps there are subtle underlying patterns in our creative behavior waiting to be understood. Discovering the key to creativity could revolutionize virtually all aspects of society – from the way we encourage our children to think through to the way billion dollar industries are run.
Johan Hoorn takes on this highly topical question in this entertaining and educational book. Hoorn is an interdisciplinary thinker and his refreshingly broad scope drives this book. He is well known for assembling international experts from diverse fields, placing them outside of their intellectual comfort zones and exploring the new ideas that flow. Rather than simply cataloguing the different concepts from the humanities, social sciences and the sciences, he grapples with their meaning to establish a confluence of ideas. This makes the book an essential read for those who want to replace vague notions of creativity with a framework that humanity can build on.”
“This book is not for the faint of heart or mind. Hoorn almost dares us to follow him in his exploration of a world between determinism and free will – his unique world of creativity. Drawing upon an incredible range of disciplines, he journeys over the vastness of time and space, from the chaos of the Big Bang to the flowering of human creativity in our world today. Surprisingly, Hoorn’s vision of the creative process recapitulates the primal chaos, now played out in the microcosm of the human mind. If you dare to let yourself go with Hoorn, prepare yourself for a revelation.”
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Main BIC Subject

CFG: Semantics, Pragmatics, Discourse Analysis

Main BISAC Subject

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U.S. Library of Congress Control Number:  2008044245 | Marc record