Literature as Communication

The foundations of mediating criticism

Roger D. Sell | Åbo Akademi University
ISBN 9789027250964 (Eur) | EUR 120.00
ISBN 9781556198380 (USA) | USD 180.00
ISBN 9789027250971 (Eur) | EUR 44.00
ISBN 9781556198397 (USA) | USD 66.00
ISBN 9789027298966 | EUR 120.00/44.00*
| USD 180.00/66.00*
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This book offers foundations for a literary criticism which seeks to mediate between writers and readers belonging to different historical periods or social groupings. This makes it, among other things, a timely intervention in the postmodern “culture wars”, though the theory put forward will be of interest not only to students of literature and culture, but also to linguists.
Sell describes communication in general as strongly interactive, as very much affected by the disparate situationalities of “sending” and “receiving”, yet as by no means completely determined by them. Seen this way, men and women are both social beings and individuals, capable of empathizing with sociohistorical formations which are alien to them, sometimes even to the extent of changing their own life-world. By treating literary activity as communicational in this same dynamic sense, Sell radically modifies the main paradigms of twentieth-century literary theory, casting much new light on questions of genre, interpretation, affect and ethics.
[Pragmatics & Beyond New Series, 78] 2000.  xiv, 348 pp.
Publishing status: Available
Table of Contents
“Both Literature as Communication and Mediating Critism are books which should be read by every scholar concerned with literary theory and linguistic criticism, and by every linguist interested in the outer reaches of pragmatics and interactional discourse analysis — or by anyone who won't choose sides between literature and language.”
“Especially because of the clear and concise presentation of the relevant terminology I would not hesitate to recommend this book to be included in the list of suggested books to read for final-year undergraduates.”
“Literature in Communication is a significant document worth using as a textbook in postgraduate departments of English. It is one of the books that should make a difference to literary practices in this decade.”
“Sell's books, Literature as Communication in particular, have made me think long and hard, and I have profited greatly from them. They have thus affected me and effected a change. That is, I take it, what the author wanted to achieve, and that is the true measure of his success.”
“Sell marshals an impressive amount of evidence for his communicative theory of literature. To say that the range of his reading and scholarship is wide is an understatement, and the amount of information provided does not make for easy reading. But these two books do indeed constitute a "timely intervention," to quote the blurb of Literature as Communication, in the current cultural debate. By giving a powerful boost to historical scholarship, which both New Criticism and Deconstruction to a climate of opinion less given to arid theorizing and dogmatism.”
“Sell has painstakingly argued a brave and genuinely useful approach to literature, one both far-reaching and textually intimate. His work begs the reasonable discussion of its merits and deserves the attention of future critical theorists.”
Cited by

Cited by 46 other publications

Pia Maria Ahlbäck, Jouni Teittinen & Maria Lassén-Seger
Briffa, Charles
2002. Book Review: Contemporary Poems: Some Critical Approaches. Language and Literature: International Journal of Stylistics 11:3  pp. 274 ff. DOI logo
Castore, Antonio
2014. Misunderstanding and embodied communication. In Literature as Dialogue [Dialogue Studies, 22],  pp. 79 ff. DOI logo
Conan, Catherine
2013. Writing at the Crossroads: Communication and Community-Making in Ciaran Carson’s Last Night’s Fun. Anglophonia Caliban/Sigma :33  pp. 91 ff. DOI logo
de Saussure, Louis
2021. An experiential view on what makes literature relevant. In Beyond Meaning [Pragmatics & Beyond New Series, 324],  pp. 99 ff. DOI logo
Enghels, Renata & María Elena Azofra Sierra
Enghels, Renata & Linde Roels
Feng, Zongxin
2016. Spontaneous scripts as fictional narrative: an innovation in postmodern fiction. Neohelicon 43:1  pp. 73 ff. DOI logo
Fludernik, Monika
2018. De la narratologie naturelle : une synthèse rétrospective. In Introduction à la narratologie postclassique,  pp. 69 ff. DOI logo
Garcia Landa, Jose Angel
2007. Speech Acts in Literature: A Review of J. Hillis Miller's Work (Actos de Habla en la Literatura: Reseña de J. Hillis Miller). SSRN Electronic Journal DOI logo
Landa, José Ángel García
2005. Book Review: Children’s Literature as Communication: The ChiLPA Project (Studies in Narrative, 2). Language and Literature: International Journal of Stylistics 14:2  pp. 205 ff. DOI logo
Jucker, Andreas
2020. Politeness in the History of English, DOI logo
Jucker, Andreas H.
2009. Speech act research between armchair, field and laboratory. Journal of Pragmatics 41:8  pp. 1611 ff. DOI logo
Jucker, Andreas H.
2015. Pragmatics of fiction: Literary uses of uh and um. Journal of Pragmatics 86  pp. 63 ff. DOI logo
Jucker, Andreas H.
2024. Conduct politeness versus etiquette politeness: a terminological distinction. Journal of Politeness Research 20:1  pp. 87 ff. DOI logo
Keller, Stefan D.
2010. Combining Rhetoric and Pragmatics to ReadOthello. English Studies 91:4  pp. 398 ff. DOI logo
Kokkola, Lydia
2013. Literary Community Making: The Dialogicality of English Texts from the Seventeenth Century to the Present. European Journal of English Studies 17:2  pp. 217 ff. DOI logo
Korkka, Janne, Lydia Kokkola & Elina Valovirta
2016. “An autobiography in which I do not appear”: The Seductive Self in the Poetry of Robert Kroetsch. English Studies 97:5  pp. 510 ff. DOI logo
Lauer, Gerhard
2002. Offene und geschlossene Autorschaft. Medien, Recht und der Topos von der Genese des Autors im 18. Jahrhundert. In Autorschaft: Positionen und Revisionen,  pp. 461 ff. DOI logo
Ledent, Bénédicte
2014. The dialogic potential of "literary autism". In Literature as Dialogue [Dialogue Studies, 22],  pp. 99 ff. DOI logo
Leonardi, Barbara
2019. Chapter 9. James Hogg’s and Walter Scott’s Scottishness. In Pragmatics and Literature [Linguistic Approaches to Literature, 35],  pp. 192 ff. DOI logo
Maran, Timo
2020. Ecosemiotics, DOI logo
Mazzali-Lurati, Sabrina
2009. Subjects and reading strategies in hypermedia: The re-emergence of the author. Semiotica 2009:173 DOI logo
Muždeka, Nina
2014. Multifaceted postmodernist dialogue. In Literature as Dialogue [Dialogue Studies, 22],  pp. 67 ff. DOI logo
Müller-Wood, Anja
2014. The role of emotions in literary communication. In Literature as Dialogue [Dialogue Studies, 22],  pp. 137 ff. DOI logo
Oleksy, Wiesław
2019. Performativity Revisited: J. L. Austin and His Legacy. In Memory, Identity and Cognition: Explorations in Culture and Communication [Second Language Learning and Teaching, ],  pp. 115 ff. DOI logo
Olson, Greta
Pesaro, Nicoletta
2021. Retranslation and Culturemes: Searching for a “Dialogic Translation” of a Modern Chinese Classic. In Diverse Voices in Chinese Translation and Interpreting [New Frontiers in Translation Studies, ],  pp. 65 ff. DOI logo
Popescu, Carmen
2014. Subjectivity and the dialogic self. In Literature as Dialogue [Dialogue Studies, 22],  pp. 197 ff. DOI logo
Sell, Jonathan P.A.
2007. A Metaphorical Basis for Transcultural Narrative: A Response to David Pan. Language and Intercultural Communication 7:1  pp. 2 ff. DOI logo
Sell, Roger D.
2014. In dialogue with the ageing Wordsworth. In Literature as Dialogue [Dialogue Studies, 22],  pp. 161 ff. DOI logo
Sell, Roger D.
2014. Introduction. In Literature as Dialogue [Dialogue Studies, 22],  pp. 1 ff. DOI logo
Siebers, Johan
Strandberg, Lotta
2015. Minor and Major Readings Across Cultures. In Major versus Minor? – Languages and Literatures in a Globalized World [FILLM Studies in Languages and Literatures, 1],  pp. 141 ff. DOI logo
Sushko, Sergii
2021. Radical Communication Types in William H. Gass’s "The Tunnel". Półrocznik Językoznawczy Tertium 6:1  pp. 136 ff. DOI logo
Săftoiu, Răzvan
2019. The Dialogic Turn in Language Study. Language and Dialogue 9:3  pp. 471 ff. DOI logo
Whitfield, Agnes
2022. Unspoken assumptions, deep holes and boundless expectations. Language and Dialogue 12:1  pp. 110 ff. DOI logo
Włosowicz, Teresa Maria
2011. Ways of Expressing Birthday, Christmas and New Year’s and Easter Wishes in L2 and L3: Cross-Cultural Transfer and Interlanguage Pragmatics. In Aspects of Culture in Second Language Acquisition and Foreign Language Learning,  pp. 217 ff. DOI logo
[no author supplied]
2006. ASSAYING CONTEMPORARY CONFUCIANISM: SIX STUDIES. Religious Studies Review 32:2  pp. 71 ff. DOI logo
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2008. VI. Literatur. In Der Blick von außen,  pp. 291 ff. DOI logo
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This list is based on CrossRef data as of 16 march 2024. Please note that it may not be complete. Sources presented here have been supplied by the respective publishers. Any errors therein should be reported to them.


Literature & Literary Studies

Theoretical literature & literary studies

Main BIC Subject

CF: Linguistics

Main BISAC Subject

LAN009000: LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / General
ONIX Metadata
ONIX 2.1
ONIX 3.0
U.S. Library of Congress Control Number:  00031142 | Marc record