Over a period of over forty years, Geoffrey Leech has made notable contributions to the field of literary stylistics, using the interplay between linguistic form and literary function as a key to the 'mystery' of how a text comes to be invested with artistic potential.
In this book, seven earlier papers and articles, read previously only by a restricted audience, have been brought together with four new chapters, the whole volume showing a continuity of approach across a period when all too often literary and linguistic studies have appeared to drift further apart.
Leech sets the concept of 'foregrounding' (also known as defamiliarization) at the heart of the interplay between form and interpretation. Through practical and insightful examination of how poems, plays and prose works produce special meaning, he counteracts the 'flight from the text' that has characterized thinking about language and literature in the last thirty years, when the response of the reader, rather than the characteristics and meaning potential of the text itself, have been given undue prominence.
The book provides an enlightening analysis of well-known (as well as less well-known) texts of great writers of the past, including Keats, Shelley, Samuel Johnson, Shaw, Dylan Thomas, and Virginia Woolf.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780582051096
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Professor Leech is Emeritus Professor of English Linguistics at Lancaster University. He has written, co-edited and co-authored over 25 books and over 100 articles in the areas of linguistics and English language, especially in stylistics, English grammar, semantics, pragmatics and corpus linguistics. He was co-author, with Randolph Quirk, Sidney Greenbaum and Jan Svartvik, of the monumental and authoritative "A Comprehensive Grammar of the English Language "(Longman 1985). In pragmatics, too, his "Principles of Pragmatics" (Longman 1983) has been a landmark text. He is a Fellow of the British Academy, and a Member of Academia Europaea.
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