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dedicated to Anett, Lazzo, Slavka w/o whom my state exams would be mission impossible
version August 19, 2003
compiled by —f, the fragmented stream of consciousness
2002 state exams
1.1 ModE vocabulary as a result of historical development . . . . . . . . .
1.2 OE vs ModE on syntactic level . . .
1.3 OE vs ModE on lexical level . . . .
1.4 shakespeare’s impact on grammar &
lexis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
2.1 lexical semantics . . . . .
2.2 vocabulary and its structure
2.3 words and patterns . . . .
2.4 lexical morphology . . . .
2.5 word formation . . . . . .
2.6 affixation . . . . . . . . .
2.7 conversion . . . . . . . . .
2.8 unpredictable formations .
3 5
4.11 ch. dickens . . . . . . . . . . . . .
american lit
5.1 conventions and revolt in poetry
5.2 transcendentalism . . . . . . . .
5.3 symbol . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
5.4 naturalism and realism . . . . .
5.5 modernism . . . . . . . . . . .
5.6 20th cnt american novel . . . . .
5.7 20th cnt american poetry . . . .
5 6 children’s literature
6.1 non-sense . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
6.2 modern fantasy . . . . . . . . . . .
6.3 picture books . . . . . . . . . . . .
6.4 children’s fiction . . . . . . . . . .
6.5 animal tales . . . . . . . . . . . . .
10 7 methodology
7.1 communicative class teaching . . .
3 stylistics
7.2 grammar transl m., direct m., audio3.1 style . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
lingual method . . . . . . . . . . .
3.2 style and lit study . . . . . . . . . . 11
7.3 the silent way, suggestopedia, com3.3 study of style and linguistic theories 12
munity lang learning, tpr . . . . . .
3.4 expressive means and stylistic devices 12
7.4 teaching vocabulary . . . . . . . . .
3.5 syntactic expressive means . . . . . 18
7.5 grammar in lang teaching . . . . . .
3.6 extralinguistic expressive means . . 24
7.6 teaching pronunciation . . . . . . .
3.7 phonetic expressive means . . . . . 25
7.7 teaching speaking . . . . . . . . . .
3.8 functional styles of english lang . . 27
7.8 teaching reading . . . . . . . . . . .
7.9 teaching listening . . . . . . . . . .
4 english literature
7.10 teaching writing . . . . . . . . . . .
4.1 parody . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
7.11 error analysis and correction . . . .
4.2 lit discourse . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
7.12 tests . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
4.3 novel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
7.13 pair work and group work . . . . . .
4.4 from modernism to postmodernism . 34
7.14 role play . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
4.5 william shakespeare . . . . . . . . . 37
7.15 lesson plans . . . . . . . . . . . . .
4.6 renaissance theatre . . . . . . . . . 38
7.16 textbook evaluation . . . . . . . . .
4.7 british post-war drama . . . . . . . 39
7.17 games and problem solving . . . . .
4.8 feminism . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40
7.18 visuals in lang teaching . . . . . . .
4.9 romanticism vs classicism . . . . . 43
7.19 teaching lit . . . . . . . . . . . . .
4.10 james joyce . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46
project work . . . . . .
classroom observation .
young learners . . . . .
mixed ability groups .
esp . . . . . . . . . . .
der fixed in a subject-verb-object pattern.
modern english the transition happened thru the pe-
ModE vocabulary as a result of his- riod called “early modern english” (end of 15th cnt
torical development
– 1700’s). flood of new publications, king james
latin influence was brought into britain w/the arrival
of christian missionaries led by st. augustine in the
6th century. the religion already arrived thru the roman invasion, and st. patrick converted ireland in the
5th cnt. building of churches, fundaments of anglosaxon culture, education. latino-greek vocabulary
mainly connected to religion and learning. the new
vocabulary enriched and strengthened OE and added
the capacity to express abstract ideas. some old
words were given new, deeper meanings (heaven,
hell, god).
bible. most important changes in the area of lexicon,
pronunciation, syntax, lang use and word-formation
were made by shakespeare, writer of many excellent
lit works. he introduced many new idiomatic expression (it’s greek to me – julius caesar, love is blind –
merchant of venice). many words 1st recorded in his
work are still in use (laughable).
process of grammatical conversion during the renaissance, examples from shakespeare: “season
your admiration for a while” (season, to season),
“destruction straight shall dog them at the heels”
(dog, to dog).
the pronoun you developed its usage for both 2nd
person plural and singular, usage of thou, thee was
used for the 2nd person singular to indicate lower
focus of interest on vocabulary. thousands of new
words entered english, many of them greek and latin
by scholars and translators to replace the forms borrowed from french, or set up a new one. as the
period of world-wide exploration got under way,
words came into english from over 50 diff langs.
scandinavian influence began at the end of 8th cnt
and lasted for 200 yrs. vikings conquered most of
eastern england. settlements w/scandinavian names
ending in -by “town” (derby, rugby) -thorp “village” (althorp), -thwaite “clearing” (brathwaiter),
-toft “homestead” (sandtoft). personal names of
scandinavian origin (davidson, jackson, henderson).
more than 1,000 general meaning words became
part of standard english. scandinavian loans belong
to the core vocabulary which mean that the 2 langs
were close. even the pronoun system (they, their,
them) was affected by it. some loans: again, band, sound changes
birth, both, give, happy, leg, loan, neck, race, take, assimilation that take place over syllable boundaries
is called mutation or umlaut. proto-germanic musiz
want, window.
OE appeared as mis, ModE mice.
middle english period (1150-1500) the norman
conquest. william of normandy became ruler of en- addition of a segment into a particular place of a
gland, anglo-saxon nobles were replaced by french word is called epenthesis, eg OE timr → ModE timspeaking aristocracy. norman french was the offi- ber.
cial lang of the country. english spoken by lower metathesis involves reversal change in position of 2
classes. when french nobility of england lost many adjoining sounds, eg in west saxon dialect ks → sk,
of their holdings on the continent, began to consider OE aksian → ModE to ask, OE bridd → ModE bird.
themselves as englishmen gradually accepting en- modification of long vowels in late MidE is known
glish as an official lang. by the end of 15th cnt as great vowel shift, can be partial or complete.
english had been reasserted in speech and writing.
MidE early ModE ModE
but this could not happen w/o a lot of borrowings to
and from english (begin – commence, house – manna:m ne:m
sion, sin – crime, wish – desire). more than 10,000
french lexical items came into english at that period.
MidE reached its fullest development in chaucer’s
lit works.
1.2 OE vs ModE on syntactic level
MidE vocabulary was also enriched by many latin
words which came into the lang directly. many of basic diff in word order. in OE word order varied, eg
them (religion, medicine, law, literature) were bor- subject could follow verb, double negative construcrowed because there was a lack of terminology, or tion acceptable. the loss of many inflectional sufto produce ‘high style’ (rise – ascend, ask – interro- fixes, special prefix ge- typical for many germanic
langs lost. change of the structure from synthetic to
MidE has gradually lost many inflections, word or- analytic.
OE vs ModE on lexical level
OE contained about 50,000 items while ModE
comes up to 500,000. OE had 3% of loan words
compared to ModE’s 70%. OE frequently used prefixes and suffixes and compounding for word creation (gangan – to go, ingan – go in, togan – go into,
utgan – go out). english has lost many native OE
lexical items, and many have been subjected to semantic changes. the core vocabulary remained on its
native germanic origin based on indo-european root
shakespeare’s impact on grammar
& lexis
see 1./modern english.
lexical semantics
language is to serve as a means of mutual communication and thinking.
lexicology is concerned w/the properties, usage and
origin of words, regularities and relations in the vocabulary of a language. includes: study of naming extralingual reality, study of meaning, history of
words, word-formation, study of lexical phrases.
lexicography is the theory and practice of compiling dictionaries.
vocabulary is all the words that are used in a particular language, a system of lexico-semantic interdependent items.
word the minimal unit that can be used independently, can be used in isolation and does not contain parts that can be used independently. smallest
autonomous unit of the lang.
lexeme is the basic unit of vocabulary, sequence
of phonemes (sound forms), arrangement of morphemes, may have one or more meanings.
sememe is an element of meaning.
lexical semantics is concerned w/the meaning of
words or word equivalents. traditional approach:
1. referential: semiotic triangle (words – concepts – things)
2. functional: meaning is studied thru its relation
to other linguistic units
present days approach: relation between words and
our experience of the world based on convention.
1. grammatical: component of meaning expressed by inflectional endings, individual forms or
some other grammatical devices, eg word order. “boys, houses, pens” though denote diff
objects have s/thing in common. the meaning
expressed by the words form.
2. lexical: the meaning of the base/root in a set
of inflectional forms, eg go, goes, went, going,
gone (the component denoting the process of
(a) denotative: to denote means to serve as a
name, the basic dict meaning of a word,
expressing notional element of a word
(b) connotative: supplementary meaning, includes emotions and/or associations that
surround the word (expressive value, indirect reference, stylistic reference [colouring])
context: words that come before and after a word
phrase, statement, etc. helping to show what its
meaning is.
1. lexical: meaning by collocation, identification
comes from groups of words with which the
word is used.
2. grammatical or syntactical: meaning determined by the syntactical structure, the grammatical structure of the context.
vocabulary and its structure
vocabulary is an open system.
core vocabulary is the basic word stock of a lang.
synonymy is the relation between words based on
similar meaning. perfect synonyms are interchangeable in any given context.
1. stylistic synonyms: identical denotation but
diff connotation (policeman – cop).
2. ideographic synonyms: diff in shades of meaning (strange – odd – queer).
antonymy: words of opposite meaning. the same
word may have diff antonyms when used w/diff
words (old man – young man, old book – new book).
1. gradable (antonyms proper): implies some
comparison (narrow – wide)
2. non-gradable:
(a) complementary: denial of one member
of the pair implies assertion of the other
(male – female)
(b) converses: represent opposites of mirrorimage relation (over – under, receive –
(c) directional opposition: come – go, arrive
– depart
according to their word-formation structure:
1. root: absolute antonyms (clean – dirty)
2. derivational: same root but usually negative affixes (-less, un-; like – dislike)
3. mixed: correct – incorrect – wrong, married –
unmarried – single
exceptions: well-known – unknown, nameless – (?),
interest – lack of interest.
(d) geographic variants: beat about the bush
(Br) – beat around the bush (Am)
hyponymy is lexeme relation based on hierarchic
order. the inclusion of a more specific word in a construction:
more general word (a rose is a kind of flower). superordinate denotes a general class under which a
1. verbal: usually a verb + object
set of subcategories exists (parent [father, mother]).
(kick the bucket)
polysemy describes a single word w/several diff but
closely related meanings or the relation among diff
2. verbless: nominal, adjectival, adverbial
meanings of one lexeme. a word that has more
(forbidden fruit, black sheep)
than one meanings in the lang is called polysemantic. monosemantic words are rare. polysemy may be
3. w/sentence structure:
(talk of the devil and he’ll soon appear)
1. synchronically:
(a) meaning can be clear in isolation, basic,
central, direct meaning
4. minimal: contains at least one lexical word
(at all, of course)
(b) clear only in certain contexts, minor, fig- semantic point of view:
urative, transferred meaning.
1. demotivated idioms (pure): no connection be2. diachronically: relationship between the old
tween the meaning of the idiom and the meanand new meanings, ie between primary and deing of the words (red tape)
rived meanings.
words and patterns
collocational meaning: words which can be combined only w/certain words.
1. grammatical: consists of a dominant word + a
grammatical word (afraid of)
2. lexical: at least 2 equal lexical components
(blond hair)
lexical field is a group of words related semantically
or formally (names for parts of the human body,
colour terms).
idioms are combinations of lexical items (kick the
bucket), a fixed expression functioning as a single
semantic unit:
2. partially motivated idioms (transparent): certain connection between the meanings (add
fuel to the flames)
3. semi-idioms: one word is used in figurative
meaning the other in literal (promise sb. the
groups of idioms:
1. proverbs express general truth, popular wisdom (all that glitters is not gold)
2. popular quotations: “to err is human” (pope)
3. similes describe a thing by comparing it to another (as black as night)
1. unchangeable
2. changeable: allows the user a limited degree of
4. binomials and trinomials: expr consisting of 2
or more related or similar words (now and then,
on and on)
(a) grammatical variants: irregular, limited
morphological, syntactical changes (on
and off – off and on)
5. phrasal verbs: verb + particle (adverb, preposition) w/meanings not easy to understand from
individual parts (give up, look up)
(b) lexical variants: last straw – final straw
(c) orthographic (spelling) variants:
to a tee – to a T
6. social formulae:
how do you do? long time no see.
lexical morphology
words can be divided into smaller meaningful units called morphemes. a word may consist of one
(monomorphemic) or more (polymorhemic) morphemes. a morpheme can be represented in more
forms: describe – description, these forms are called
allomorphs. allomorph is the realization of the morpheme. morphemes homonymous w/a word are free
morphemes (arm, act), those used only with another
morpheme are called bound morphemes.
the basic common element of the word is called root
morpheme, they are usually free (friend, friendship,
friendly; act, action, actor). linguistic elements attached to the beginning or ending are affixational
morphemes (-ly, un-).
affixes preceding the root are prefixes, those fixed to
the end of the root are suffixes. infixes occur between
2 roots (nowadays, speedometer). morphemes like
-man (postman, milkman) are called semi-affixes.
3. synonymous a.: -or, -er, -ist (actor, teacher,
types of words:
1. simple: cannot be broken down into smaller
meaningful units (play, bed)
2. derivatives: from a simple word by adding an
affix (player)
3. compound: from 2 or more words (bedroom)
word formation
compounding is the most productive principal way
of creating words. a compound word is consisting
of 2 or more bases (armchair). a compound may
be written as one word (fireman), hyphenated (kingsize), or separate words (sitting room).
according to semantic criteria:
affixes are:
1. inflectional (grammatical): builds new forms of
the word (-s, -ed)
2. derivational (lexical): building different words
(act-or, un-like)
some affixes can be both (-ing, i’m meeting – a
1. endocentric: one element determines the other
(airship, bedroom)
2. exocentric: no semantic centre (pickpocket,
redskin, skinhead)
3. appositional: compound is hyponym of both
elements (girlfriend)
4. dvandva: compound not hyponym of any of
word formation is concerned w/a word-base +
the elements, elements name separate entities
derivational affixes.
the base is the basic part of the word consisting of
one or more morphemes.
type of composition:
1. simple: base = 1 root, morphologically nonmotivated (nice+ly, child+hood)
1. w/o connecting element: armchair, classroom
2. w/linking element:
2. complex:
(a) vowel/consonant: nowadays, sportsman
(a) derived: 1 root + affix; morpholog. motivated (peaceful+ness)
(b) compound: 2 roots (workman+ship)
affixes may be of different origin (french, latin). we
distinguish productive and non-productive affixes.
prefixes are more productive than suffixes.
1. polysemantic affixes: -er sone doing sthing
(dancer), sthing doing sthing (boiler), sone who
makes sthing (baker), sone coming from (Londoner)
2. homonymous a.: -en adjective (wooden), verb
(b) preposition/conjunction: mother-in-law
compound structures according to word classes:
1. compound nouns:
(a) noun + noun:
exocentric: skinhead
appositional: owner-occupier
dvandva: rolls-royce
• gerund + noun: fishing rod
• pr. noun + noun: Markov chain
• noun + noun: windmill
(b) verb+noun:
• noun is the object of the verb: pickpocket
• noun is not object: giggle-smoke
(c) noun+verb: nose-dive
(d) verb+verb: make-believe
(e) adj + noun: madman, noun + adj: dutyfree
(f) particle + noun: off-Broadway
(g) verb + particle: drive-in
(h) phrase compounds: forget-me-not
suffixation is characteristic of noun and adj formation. a suffix usually changes the word class (to bake
– baker).
1. noun-forming:
-or actor,
-er / -eer teacher, engineer,
-ist scientist,
-ess hostess,
-ty / -ity cruelty,
2. compound verbs: (most c. verbs are formed
from c. nouns by conversion or back-formation)
(a) noun + verb: carbon-date
(b) adj + verb: double-book
3. compound adj:
(a) noun + adj: lead-free
(b) adj + adj: endocentric: open-ended, appositional: bitter-sweet
(c) adj + noun: grey-collar
(d) verb + verb: go-go (dancer)
4. compound adverbs: adding the suffix -ly to
a compound, other examples: over-night, offhand
phonetic formation:
1. rhyme motivated: walkie-talkie, hokey-pokey
2. ablaut motivated: flip-flop, zig-zag
3. reduplicative: blah-blah
word-formation structure:
-ure / -ture failure,
-dom freedom,
-age passage,
-ance / -ence performance,
-hood likelihood,
-ing opening,
-ion / -sion / -tion / -ition / -ation action,
-ness kindness,
-y / -ery expiry,
-ship membership,
-ment development,
-t complaint.
2. adjective-forming:
-able / -ible sensible,
-ic / -atic heroic,
-ful useful,
-y bloody,
-less useless,
• simple: consisting of simple bases (bedroom)
-al / -ial / -tial personal,
• derivational: one base is derived (blue-eyed)
-ive / -ative / -itive active,
• compounds w/a compound base: aircraftman
-ant / -ent excellent,
• w/at least 1 clipped base: A-bomb, sci-fi
-en golden,
type of relationship:
• coordinate: deaf-mute, actor-manager
• subordinative: armchair, bedroom
relation of the whole to its components:
• completely or partially motivated: the meaning
is easily deduced from the components (classroom, handbook)
• idiomatic: blackmail, egghead
-like childlike,
-ing amusing,
-ous dangerous,
-ish selfish,
-ly friendly.
3. verb-forming
-ize / -ise civilise,
-ify / -fy / -efy falsify,
-en strengthen.
4. adverb-forming
en- / em- enlarge.
4. time, place, order, relation:
-ly easily,
post- postwar,
-ward / -wards eastward,
inter- interplanetary,
-wise / -ways clockwise,
pre- prehistoric,
-fold twofold.
ex- ex-wife.
according to base the suffix is added to:
5. number, numeral relation:
1. verbal base: -or, -er, -ing (actor, writer)
bi- bilateral,
2. noun base: -ful, -ist (beautiful, novelist)
uni- unisex,
auto- autobiography,
3. adjective base: -ly, -ness (nicely, goodness)
according to sense expressed by the suffix:
1. agent of the action: suffix indicates the doer
multi- multinational.
6. attitude, collaboration, membership, counter
anti- antisocial,
2. status, collectivity: friendship
counter- counter-offensive,
3. diminutiveness: emotional relation
(daddy, doggie)
pro- pro-English.
7. pejoration:
prefixation usually changes or concretises the lexical meaning of a word, rarely parts of speech
(smoker – non-smoker).
mis- misinform,
pseudo- pseudo-intellectual.
1. negative or oppositional:
un- negation (unable), opposite action (zip –
is the process of coining new words in a diff part of
speech w/o any derivative elements.
dis- dislike,
a- amoral,
• full: hand – to hand, calm – to calm
in- informal,
• partial: to smoke – to have a smoke
im- (before p, b, m) impatient,
il- (before l) illegal,
ir- (before r) irregular,
non- nonsmoker,
major types of conversion:
• verbs from nouns: saw – to saw, nurse – to
nurse, rarely verbs from adj: dry – to dry, clean
– to clean
de- decode.
2. degree, measure, size:
super- supersonic,
• nouns from verbs: to break – break, to walk –
walk, rarely nouns from adj: black – a black,
cold – cold
semi- semicircle,
• adj from nouns: an orange – an orange car
hyper- hyperactive,
• noun from phrasal verbs: to make up – a make
up, to pull over – pullover
ultra- ultraviolet,
over- oversimplify.
3. repetition:
re- reread,
back-formation is the formation of a simpler word
from a structurally complex one. great majority of
words formed by back-formation are verbs (typewrite – typewriter, beggar – beg).
unpredictable formations
clipping lexical abbreviation, a reduction of a word
to a shorter form. typical for nouns (fan – fanatic,
doc – doctor, intro – introduction). they differ in
emotive charge and/or stylistic reference.
• final (back) clipping: words shortened at the
end (apocope) (lab, ad, photo)
• initial clipping (aphaeresis): violincello, telephone
• medial clipping (syncope): binocs – binoculars
blending: similar to shortening, fusing 2 diff words
(smog = smoke + fog, motel, bit).
acronyms: formed from initials and read as ordinary words (nato, ufo, aids, pin).
initialisms: initial abbreviations w/spelling pronunciation (vip, sos, fbi, cia).
graphical (written): abbr are restricted in use to
written speech (oct., nov., r.s.v.p.).
latin abbr: a.m., p.m., i.e., etc., used also w/o full
analysis becomes a study of the relations between specific linguistic units and their environment.
(1) manner of expression in writing and speaking.
(2) variation of lang use (lit and non-lit), the term
register is used for systematic variations in linguistic features common to particular non-lit situations,
eg advertising, legal lang. style may vary according
to medium and degree of formality, style-shifting.
on larger scale it may vary from genre to another,
period to another.
(3) set or sum of linguistic features that seem to be
characteristic. when applied to the domain of the
author, style is the set of features peculiar to, characteristic of an author, lang habits or idiolect.
(4) each author draws upon the general stock of the
lang, what makes style distinctive is the choice of
items, their distribution and patterning. all utterances have style, plain style is itself a style.
(5) comparing one set of features w/another in terms
of a deviation from a norm. matching a text against
the linguistic norms of its genre, period, and common core of the lang.
stylistics the study of style. the variety in stylistics is
due to the main influences of linguistics and lit criticism. stylistics in the 20th cnt replaces and expands
on the earlier study elocution in rhetoric. following the publication of a 2 volume treatise on french
stylistics by bally (1909), a pupil of the structuralist saussure, interest in stylistics gradually spread
across europe via the work of spitzer and others. in
the 1960s flourished in the usa and gb. in many respects stylistics is close to lit criticism and practical
criticism. the goal of stylistic studies is not simply
to describe the formal features of texts but to show
their functional significance for the interpretation of
the text, or to relate lit effects to linguistic causes
where these are felt to be relevant.
style as a notational term:
these three approaches can be seen as complementary rather than as contradictory or mutually exclusive.
style and lit study
linguistics ⇐⇒ stylistics ⇐⇒ literary study
1. stylistics as a subdepartment of linguistics (dealing with peculiarities of literary texts)
2. stylistics as a subdepartment of literary study
(occasionally draws on linguistic methods)
3. stylistics as an autonomous discipline (draws
eclectically and freely on methods both from
linguistics and from literary study)
each approach has its own virtues, for a given task
one approach may be better than another, however,
it is important to understand that the following are
two different activities:
1. to study styles as types of linguistic variation
2. to describe the style of one particular text for a
literary purpose
literary schools that have contributed germinal ideas
relevant to stylolinguistics are plentiful. the most
important are:
• french explication de texte
• the new criticism
• the “idealists” (vossler, croce and spitzer)
• the russian formalists (roman jacobson, v. v.
• literary structuralism (v. propp)
1. patterns which have been labelled as a norm
• literary neo-structuralism
→ stylistic analysis becomes comparison (be(barthes, todorov, chatman)
tween features in the text whose style we analyse and the body of text that we have defined linguistic vs literary context
as a norm)
in theory: sometimes very dogmatic attitudes have
been voiced about the relations between linguistics,
2. style as an addition of certain stylistic traits to stylistics and literary study, they have even acquired
a neutral, styleless expression → stylistic anal- political overtones.
ysis becomes a stripping process
in practice: such problems tend to solve themselves
3. style as connotation, whereby each linguistic pragmatically, as long as each investigator allows
feature acquires its stylistic value from the tex- himself the freedom of choosing and shaping his
tual and situational environment → stylistic methods to achieve his own particular goals.
in some studies, stylistics may be an auxiliary
brought in to narrative structure; in others, categories of narrative structure provide contexts for
stylistic analysis, eg nora says: “i leave the keys
here.” (h. ibsen: the doll’s house). linguistic characteristics: everyday middle-class conversation, the
expression which seems, against one contextual
background, trivial and highly predictable. literary
context (here the structure of the doll’s house): the
dramatic structure of the play → nora’s determination to break with her past, the sentence is seen in
the light of another contextual background.
how far we wish to go in our discussion of an utterance such as this will depend on our purpose (if
we study ibsen’s norwegian style, we may dismiss
nora’s sentence as a trivial example of everyday dialogue, if, on the contrary, we study the way in which
ibsen builds up a dramatic climax, we should carefully note the tension between a major narrative kernel and its undramatic expression). narrative elements and their linguistic expressions – the apparatus developed by propp, barthes, todorov.
study of style and linguistic theories
ferdinand de saussure (1916)
langue any particular language that is the common
possession of all members of a given lang community. in the study of lang linguistics is closer to sociology and soc psychology than to cognitive psychology. a linguist is interested in the structures of
lang systems
• social phenomenon
• purely abstract
• social or institutional character
parole lang behaviour of individual members of the
lang community. a linguist describes the competence of lang speakers
• actual
• individual
stylistics might have it’s own subsection under language and parole.
noam chomsky (1957)
• the ability to engage in this particular kind of
• the typical speaker’s knowledge of the lang
• one’s linguistic competence is one’s knowledge
of a particular lang.
• does not presuppose performance
• kind of behaviour, the speaker habitually or occasionally engages in.
• does presuppose competence
the notion of competence should include apparatus
describing stylistic variations.
expressive means and stylistic devices
in linguistics there are different terms to denote
those particular means by which a writer obtains his
effect. expressive means, stylistic devices and other
terms are all used indiscriminately. for our purposes
it is necessary to make a distinction between expressive means and stylistic devices.
expressive means (em) of a lang are those phonetic means, morphological forms, means of wordbuilding, and lexical, phraseological and syntactical forms, all of which function in the lang for
emotional or logical intensification of the utterance.
some of them are normalised, and good dictionaries
label them as intensifiers. in most cases they have
corresponding neutral synonymous forms.
(1) the most powerful expressive means of any lang
are phonetic. the human voice can indicate subtle
nuances of meaning that no other means can attain.
pitch, melody, stress, pausation, drawling out certain
syllables, whispering, a sing-song manner of speech
and other ways of using the voice are more effective
than any other means in intensifying the utterance
emotionally or logically.
(2) among the morphological expressive means the
use of the present indefinite instead of the past indefinite must be mentioned first. this has already been
acknowledged as a special means and is named the
historical present. in describing some past event the
author uses the present tense.
the use of shall in the 2nd and 3rd person may also
be regarded as an expressive means. compare:
he shall do it
i shall make him do it
he has to do it it is necessary for him to do it
among word-building means great many forms serve
to make the utterance more expressive. diminutive
suffixes (-let, -ette) add emotional colouring to the
words. we may also refer to what are called neologisms and nonce-words formed with non-productive
suffixes or with greek roots, eg kafkasque, mistressmanship. compound words (pizzaburger, kiss-kiss
bang-bang movie), blends (cinerama, fanzine – fan
+ magazine) or acronyms (kiss – keep it simple,
stupid!) are often expressive too.
(3) at lexical level there are many words which constitute a special layer. there are words with emotive meaning only, words which have both, referential and emotive meaning, words which still retain a twofold meaning (denotative and connotative), words belonging to special groups of literary
english or of non-standard english (ie poetic, archaic, vulgar, etc.).
(4) on syntactical level there are many constructions
which being set against synonymous ones, will reveal a certain degree of logical or emotional emphasis. in english there are many syntactical patterns
which serve to intensify emotional quality. (isn’t she
cute! fool that he was!)
the expressive means of the lang are studied respectively in manuals of phonetics, grammar, lexicology
and stylistics. stylistics, however, observes not only
the nature of an expressive means, but also its potential capacity of becoming a stylistic device.
stylistic device (sd) is a conscious and intentional
literary use of some of the facts of the lang (including expressive means) in which the most essential
features (both structural and semantic) of the lang
forms are raised to a generalised level and thereby
present a generative model. most sd’s may be regarded as aiming at the further intensification of the
emotional or logical emphasis contained in the corresponding expressive means.
em’s have a greater degree of predictability than
sd’s. the latter may appear in an environment which
may seem alien and therefore be only slightly or not
at all predictable. sd’s carry a greater amount of information because if they are at all predictable they
are less predictable than em’s. it follows that sd’s
must be regarded as a special code which has still
to be deciphered. sd’s are generally used sparingly,
so that the utterance is not overburden with information.
some scholars still regard sd’s as violations of the
norms of the lang. it is this notion that leads some
prominent linguists to the conclusion that the belleslettres style is always a reaction against the common
lang; to some extent it is a jargon, which may have
the study of the linguistic nature of sd’s in any
lang therefore becomes an essential condition for
the general study of the functions of the sd’s and
ultimately for the system of the lang in general, not
excluding such elements of lang which deal with the
emotional aspects.
lexical expressive means and stylistic devices
(a) interaction of different types of lexical meaning
words in a context may acquire additional lexical
meaning not fixed in dictionaries, so called contextual meaning. this meaning may sometimes deviate
from the dictionary meaning to such a degree that
the new meaning even becomes the opposite of the
primary meaning. this is especially the case of transferred meanings.
what is known in linguistics as transferred meaning is the interrelation between two types of lexical meaning: dictionary and contextual. dictionary
meaning will always depend on the dictionary (logical) meaning to a greater or lesser extent. when the
deviation from the acknowledged meaning causes
an unexpected turn in the recognised logical meanings, we register a stylistic device. the transferred
meaning of a word may be fixed in dictionaries as
a result of long and frequent use of the word other
than in its primary meaning. in this case we register
a derivative meaning of the word, we do not perceive two meanings. when, however, we perceive
two meanings of the word simultaneously, we are
confronted with a stylistic device in which the two
meanings interact.
(a1 ) interaction of dictionary and contextual logical
the relation between dictionary and contextual logical meanings can be based on the principle of affinity or proximity (metaphor), on the principle of symbol – referent relation (metonymy) and on the principle of opposition (irony).
metaphor is a relation between the dictionary and
contextual logical meanings based on the affinity or
similarity of certain properties or features of the two
corresponding concepts, eg “dear nature is the kindest mother still.” (byron: childe harold).
metaphors which are absolutely unexpected and unpredictable are called genuine metaphors. those
which are commonly used in speech and are sometimes even fixed in dictionaries are trite or dead
metaphors (ray of hope, shadow of a smile). their
predictability is apparent.
metonymy is based on some kind of association
connecting the two concepts which these meanings
represent (crown for a king or queen, cup or glass
for the drink it contains).
the interrelation between the dictionary and contextual meanings should stand out clearly and conspicuously, only then can we state that a stylistic device is used. the examples given above are tra-
ditional and fixed in dictionaries, they are derivative logical meanings which co-exist with the primary one. metonymy used in language-in-action or
speech (contextual metonymy) is genuine and reveals a quite unexpected substitution of one word
for another (one concept for another) based on some
strong impression produced by a feature of the thing.
this is called synecdochy (part for whole). similarly:
“then i came in. two of them, a man with long fair
moustache and a silent dark man. . . definitely, the
moustache and i had nothing in common.” (lessing:
retreat to innocence). some types of metonymy:
polysemy: in actual speech polysemy vanishes unless it is deliberately retained for certain stylistic
purposes. eg “massachusetts was hostile to the
american flag, and she would not allow it to be
hoisted on her state house.” the word flag is used
in its primary meaning in combination with the verb
to hoist and in its derivative meaning in the combination was hostile to.
zeugma is the use of a word in the same grammatical but different semantic relations to two adjacent
words in the context, the semantic relation being on
one hand literal, and on the other, transferred. “dora,
• a concrete thing is used instead of an abstract plunging at once into privileged intimacy and into
notion. in this case the thing becomes a symbol the middle of the room.” “mr. well’s hair, manner,
of the notion, as in “the camp, the pulpit and the and eyes were all out of control.”
law / for rich men’s sons and free.” (shelley)
pun is based on the interaction of two well-known
meanings of a word or phrase. it is difficult to differ• the container instead of the thing contained:
entiate between zeugma and pun. the only reliable
“the hall applauded.” “he drank two glasses
distinguishing feature is a structural one: zeugma is
and left.” “i managed just a cup.”
the realization of two meanings with the help of a
• the relation of proximity, as in: “the round verb which is made to refer to different subjects or
game table was boisterous and happy.” “the objects (direct or indirect). pun is more independent.
eg “seven days without water make one weak.”
city celebrated.”
• the material instead of the thing made of it: (a3 ) interaction of logical and emotive meanings
“the marble spoke.” “the iron is hot.” “his no utterance can be understood clearly without its
being evaluated from the point of view of the auwrists hurt under the irons.”
thor’s attitude towards the things described. thus in• the instrument which the doer uses in perform- terjections are the signals of emotional tension. they
ing the action instead of the action or the doer must be regarded as expressive means of the lanhimself: “well, mr. weller, says the gentleman, guage and as such may be effectively used as stylisyou’re a very good whip and can do what you tic devices in the proper context.
like with your horses, we know.” (dickens)
interjections and exclamatory words we use when
this list is in no way complete, there are many other we express our feelings and which exist in lang as
types of relations which may serve as a basis for conventional symbols of human emotions. eg “oh,
metonymy. the most systematic classification is where are you going to, all you big steamers?” the
based on the recognition of synecdochy as a spe- interjection “oh” by itself may express various feelcial case of metonymy. there are four main types of ings, such as regret, despair, disappointment, sorsynecdochy which are often presented under their row, surprise, etc. here it precedes a definite sentence and denotes the ardent tone of the question.
original latin names.
irony is a stylistic device also based on the simul- interjections can be:
taneous realization of two logical meanings, dictio• primary: generally devoid of any logical meannary and contextual, but the two meanings stand in
ing. eg oh! ah! pooh! hush! alas! though some
opposition to each other, eg “they were as funny as
of them once had logical meaning.
the black death.” (d. francis).
irony must not be confused with humour, although
• derivative: may retain certain logical meaning
they have much in common. humour always causes
laughter. what is funny must come as a sudden clash god knows! bless me! humbug! and many others
of the positive and negative. in this respect irony can are not interjections as such; but exclamatory words
resemble humour, but the function of irony is not generally used as interjections, their function is that
confined to producing a humorous effect.
of the interjection (some adjectives and adverbs can
(a2 ) interaction of primary and derivative logical also take on the function of interjections, eg amazmeanings
ing! terrible!).
epithet is a means of displaying the writer’s emotional attitude to his communication. it is subtle
and delicate in its character, not so direct as the interjection. markedly subjective and evaluative. eg
wild wind, loud ocean, remorseless dash of billows,
heartburning smile.
oxymoron is a combination of two words, mostly
an adjective and a noun or an adverb with an adjective, in which the meanings of the two clash, being
opposite in sense, eg low skyscraper, sweet sorrow,
pleasantly ugly face, poor little rich girl.
(a4 ) interaction of logical and nominal meanings
antonomasia is the interplay between logical and
nominal meanings of a word. the two kinds of meanings must be realized in the word simultaneously,
eg “society is now one polished horde, formed of
two mighty tribes, the Bores and Bored.” this device is mainly realized in the written language, because sometimes capital letters are the only signals
to denote the presence of it. it is often found in magazines and newspapers, eg “i suspect that the Noes
and Don’t knows would far outnumber the Yesses.”
(b) intensification of a certain feature of a thing or
in the third group of stylistic devices one of the qualities of the object in question is made to sound essential. the quality picked out may be seemingly
unimportant, but for a special reason it is elevated to
the greatest importance.
simile: ordinary comparison and simile must not be
confused. comparison takes into consideration all
the properties of the two objects, stressing the one
that is compared. simile excludes all the properties
of the two objects except one which is made common to them. eg “the boy seems to be as clever
as his mother” is ordinary comparison. boy and
mother belong to the same class of objects and only
one quality is being stressed to find the resemblance
but in “maidens, like moths, are ever caught by
glare,” we have a simile. maidens and moths belong to heterogeneous classes of objects and byron
has found the concept moth to indicate one of the
secondary features of the concept maiden, that is,
to be easily lured. similes have various formal elements in their structure (connective words: like, as,
such as, as if, seem). eg “emily barton was very
pink, very dresden-china-shepherdess like.” “two
japanese girls, as glossy and self-sufficient as young
cats, sit smiling.”
there is a long list of similes pointing out the analogy between various qualities of human beings and
animals (treacherous as a snake, sly as a fox). these
combinations have ceased to be genuine similes and
are considered cliches nowadays.
periphrasis is the renaming of an object by a phrase
that brings out some particular feature of the object. some well-known dictionary periphrases (periphrastic synonyms): the cap and gown – a student, the fair sex – women, my better half – wife.
from literature: “i know an old woman, i am sure i
should say lady, who says, ‘people like you. . . ’ she
means aliens, foreigners, though i have lived here
forty years. . . ‘have no idea what london was like.’ ”
euphemism a variety of periphrasis. a word or
phrase used to replace an unpleasant word or expression by a conventionally more acceptable one
(die – to pass away, to expire, to depart, to kick
the bucket, to give up the ghost, to go west). from
this point of view euphemisms are synonyms which
aim at producing a deliberately mild effect. an interesting source of euphemistic expressions is the
language of reporting (irish confetti – stones, rocks,
or other such missiles thrown in riots). majority of
euphemisms are to substitute for taboo and vulgar
words (lady of the night, lady of pleasure – prostitute). sophisticated euphemisms can be found in
the language of politics (the final solution – the nazi
plan to murder the world’s jews).
hyperbole is a deliberate overstatement, exaggeration to intensify one of the features of the object to
a degree which will show utter absurdity. eg “those
three words conveyed the one idea of mr. dombey’s
life. the earth was made for dombey and son to
trade in and the sun and moon were made to give
them light. rivers and seas were formed to float their
ships; rainbows gave them promise of fair weather;
winds blew for or against their enterprises; stars and
planets circled in their orbits to preserve inviolate a
system of which they were the centre.”
(c) peculiar use of set expressions
cliche an expression that has become stereotyped,
lost originality, ingenuity, and impact by long overuse. cliche is a derogatory term and it is necessary to avoid mainly in creative writing. however,
cliches can be found in lyrics (she brings flesh to my
bones) and popular literature when reflecting colloquial speech (i turned over a new leaf years ago).
proverbs and sayings: distinguishing from ordinary utterances by their semantic aspect. their literal meaning is suppressed by what may be termed
their transferred meaning, ie one meaning (literal)
is the form for another meaning (transferred) which
contains the idea. proverbs and sayings are the concentrated wisdom of the people, and if used appropriately, will never lose their freshness and vigour.
eg “come!” he said, “milk’s spilt.” (from it is no use
crying over spilt milk).
epigram is similar to proverb, the only difference
is that epigrams are coined by individuals whose
names are known, while proverbs are the coinage of
the people. eg “i can resist everything except temptation.i” (wilde).
quotation is a repetition of a phrase or statement
from a book, speech, used by way of authority, illustration, proof or as a basis for further speculation
on the matter. eg “next to the originator of a good
sentence is the first quoter of it.” (emerson). “all for
one and one for all” (dumas).
allusion is an indirect reference, by word or phrase,
to a historical, literary, mythological, biblical fact.
the use of allusion presupposes knowledge of the
fact, thing or person alluded to on the part of the
reader or listener. as a rule no indication of the
source is given. eg “she was another helen” (helen
of troy).
lexical expressive means
(1) basic lexis can be classified according to different criteria, eg standard vs non-standard words and
expressions, abstract vs concrete, colloquial vs literary (bookish), colloquial vs technical terms, etc.
the overlap of all these categories creates a group of
neutral words which are commonly known as standard vocabulary. based on the frequency of usage
of particular parts of speech the following types of
style can be examined:
interesting changes within the process of language
development known as “univerbalization”. in slovak can be compared with the word-forming process in english called conversion. in the case of
univerbalization, the main idea is to reduce a noun
phrase into a single word expression (mainly) in
spoken colloquial language which brings about the
change of stylistic characteristics, ie formal expressions are made informal. in addition to colloquial
language, many examples can be found in the language of newspapers. in the case of english conversion the change of stylistic characteristics does not
always take place. conversion is a standard wordforming process, which is very frequent and popular
in english, there are no syntactic or morphological
limitations to conversion (no inflection in english).
conversion blossoms especially in certain fields, (the
language of computers) where the number of used
words is limited, so they often serve for nouns and
verbs (sometimes also adjectives and adverbs) at the
same time. examples of the slovak univerbalization
resembling conversion are chory clovek – chory,
vysoka skola – vysoka, etc. (compare the examples
of english conversion, poor people – the poor, high
school – a/the high, etc.).
the word-forming process known as clipping should
be mentioned here too (final exams – finals, binoculars – binocs), resemble the process of univerbalization even closer, they involve changes in stylistic classification (some examples of blends could be
quoted here as well).
(5) personal deictics provide signals about the complex relationship of the author, the recipient and
the topic of conversation (communication itself) in
a particular situation. there are 2 possible ways
of presenting the utterance, the 1st person narration (a monologue) and the 2nd person narration (a
dialogue). there is no english counterpart (except
the original texts by w. shakespeare – thou / thee)
of the slovak use of 2nd person singular (in slovak “tykanie”), or the 3rd person plural (in slovak
“onikanie”) which is no longer used, except some
rare local dialects (slovak: a oni, mamicka, co si
• verbal style abounds in verbs and is very dy- nesadnu.). signals about the terms, that the particnamic. the lexis used in this style denotes ipants of the communication are at, are reflected in
(3) processes and consists of different types of the address. addressing can be official or unofficial,
expressive or neutral, subjective, objective or genverbs: auxiliaries, lexical verbs, clips.
eral, etc. the hierarchy of addresses can be observed
in certain professions (army).
(4) qualifying lexis consists of mainly adjectives, adverbs and numerals. they are mainly used to modify (6) grammatical lexis is present in every language
nouns and verbs, and to express qualities (number and its main function is to enable constructing utor amount) of persons, things and processes. some terances which are in accordance with the grammar
adjectives, being part of a nominal phrase, undergo of particular language. the functions of prepositions
• nominal style abounds in nouns and thus is
mainly static. long sentences prevail in this
style because many facts and data have to be
provided. the degree of repetition of words
and expressions is quite low. the lexis of this
style uses nouns, that is (2) nominal lexis, denoting persons, animals, objects, materials, etc.
the classification of nominal lexis into several groups is possible (these are commonly
known pairs of categories, as for example, abstract/concrete, collective/group nouns, sg/pl)
and conjunctions are commonly known, however, in
stylistics, we often study peculiar usage of grammatical lexis. eg secondary prepositions are always expressive (stylistically marked) and the study of synonymy and repetition of prepositions brings information about the style of the studied text. conjunctions can also be used in a very specific way, they
can be overused or omitted in the text, which is also
a stylistically relevant piece of information.
(7) historically marked lexis, as opposed to the neutral lexis, always brings expressiveness to the text
(archaisms, historicisms, literary words (bookish),
neologisms). the sources of these words are the language of the bible, liturgy, legal language, local dialects. there is also a special group of words called
nonce-words, “created for one occasion.” they do
not catch on and the creator usually remains the only
person who used them (joyce: finnegans wake).
(8) professionally marked lexis professional expressions often create the whole complex of lang means
which is known as professional slang. professionalisms are often defined as slang counterparts of
technical terms.
(9) expressive lexis in addition to their expressive
function some lexemes have also emotional function
and can create emotiveness. all emotive lexis is expressive, but not all expressive lexis is emotional.
expressiveness is superordinated, more general term
than emotiveness. euphemisms (die – pass away),
we have to bear in mind that some euphemisms are
not appropriate in certain texts. melioratives (they
“better” the meaning), eg illegitimate child – love
child. pejoratives (they “worsen” the meaning), eg
die – go west. vulgarisms (also called swear words,
dirty words, four letter words). diminutives (denote something “small, weak, cute or loveable”).
laudatives (from latin laudo – to praise, express appraisal, often overlap with diminutives and familiar words). augmentatives (opposite to diminutives,
they denote something strong and big, or unpleasant). other means of expressiveness are particles,
onomatopoeia and children’s speech.
(10) lexis of foreign origin: borrowed and loan
words. some of these words are specific for the language communities living in europe thus they are
sometime called europeisms.
(11) phraseological lexis: creation of fixed expressions and phrases is connected with some phenomena which were mentioned earlier, eg the tendency
to make expressions shorter (univerbalization), and
the tendency to use more words instead of one (multiverbalism: custodial engineer – custodian, janitor) the use of flowery language (too many cooks
spoil the broth – too great number of culinary assistants may impair the flavour of the consomme. native insects do more damage to trees and grass than
we realize – endemic insect populations cause littlerealized amounts of damage to forage and timber).
quotations and abbreviations.
(12) colloquial lexis: mainly familiarisms, some
loan words, metaphorical verbs (to milk, to stone, to blackmail) and various kinds of expressive/figurative lexis (to bite the dust = to die, to gun
a car = to start or make it go faster by pressing on
accelerator pedal). greetings, taboo words, dialectisms, slang, argot and jargon words, idiolectisms,
ocassionalisms and others.
stylistic value of particular parts of words that is
prefixes, suffixes and infixes, can exhibit various
stylistic values. for example, the prefix ex- is often
expressive (ex-wife), diminutive suffixes (kitchen vs
synonymy and polysemy; seemingly similar to synonymy, but in fact very different is tautology (tautos = the same, logos = word: an elephant is
an animal, fact are facts). based on relation of
antonymy are stylistic devices like antithesis and
oxymoron. the fact that words have the same roots
is called in linguistics paronymy. intentional grouping of paronyms is a powerful stylistic device called
paronomasia. it is actually a word play and many
puns involving words that sound similar originated
this way. examples are jokes or graffiti (nuclear food
here – fission chips). paronomasia is very expressive
when the used items clash semantically: hamlet cynically to claudius, who addresses him as his son and
cousin: “a little more than kin and less than kind!”
another kind of play with words is palindrome, that
is an expression which makes sense (the same or different) also when read backwards, (radar, eve).
hendiadys: “the heaviness and the guilt (ie heavy
guilt) within my bosom.” (shakespeare)
repetition of lexical units plays an important role in
the text. it differs from style to style and has specific functions in individual genres. considering the
style of scientific prose, we can often find repetition of synonyms in order to provide as precise and
clear explanation as possible. in the fluent speech
the speaker usually repeats what he thinks is important, some repetitions mean hesitation and/or lack of
concentration. lexical repetitions in literature (poetry and prose) can take various forms. the term
pleonasm is used when the author uses intentionally more words than necessary, creating aesthetic
values. clearly aesthetic functions have also enu-
merations, exclamations, stereotyped constructions
which serve artistic purposes too.
syntactic expressive means
(a) modality of a sentence
happened if . . . moreover, utterances in fiction
are always told from the point of view of someone, a subjectivity is inevitable. marked qualification of the statement is characteristic of
1st person narratives, marked modality is also
characteristic of the representation of the characters’ thought process in free direct and indirect thought, or interior monologue. moreover,
plots themselves, whether in drama, epic or a
novel, are frequently structured on conflicting
modalities: on dreams and reality, obligations
and desires, beliefs and dogmas.
1. modality as used in semantics, logic, grammar
is concerned with speakers’ attitudes and perspectives towards the proposition they express.
it is essentially a subjective and qualifying process: judging the truth of propositions in terms
of degrees of possibility, probability or certainty, and expressing also meanings of obliga- types of sentences according to the types of modaltion, necessity, volition, prediction, knowledge ity: sentences expressing a/an
and belief, etc.
1. announcement
2. modality is very commonly expressed by mo2. statement (declarative is a basic sentence type
dal verbs – a major category of auxiliary verbs
from which others are derived, eg negative:
in english, other means include adverbs (posyou’re not washing the dishes)
sibly, perhaps), clauses (i’m certain that. . .
parenthesis: i admit. . . i confess. . . , frankly
3. question, types: question tag, w-question, inspeaking. . . ) and mood (unmarked) – indicavestigating, semantic types of questions (structive or ‘fact mood’, which is signalled, in the
tures or contact expressions which resemble
third person present tense form at least, by the
questions by the form like “do you know what?
-s inflection, eg she very obviously likes elelets’. . . , how do you do?), rhetorical question
phants. it is contrasted with the subjunctive, the
(does not expect an answer: “if winter comes,
mood of non-fact, expressing the uncertain, hycan spring be far behind?” which implies
pothetical, or desirable, etc. which is signalled
spring can’t be far behind)
in the 3rd person present by no ending at all “i
suggest that she visit a psychiatrist.” in modern
4. exclamation
english subjunctive has been replaced by modal
verbs “i suggest that she should visit a psychi5. request
atrist.” and also a plain indicative “i suggest
6. wish (“i wish i were you.” subjunctive)
she visits a psychiatrist.” in some grammars
the imperative is also described as a mood, expressing “will” or “desire”. the modal verbs (b) expressiveness in syntax
commonly used to indicate different kinds of
1. aposiopesis is the sudden breaking off of an utmodality are can, might, must, should and may.
terance before it is completed, usually in moin the broadest sense the modal meanings exments of emotions: “what the. . . ”. in the norpressed by these verbs include also volition and
mal flow of literary discourse it is rare, but
prediction (will, shall), ability and potentiality
when it appears it is marked. sometimes the
(can, be able to).
term prosiopesis is used to indicate that it is
the initial part which is left out, eg sorry – i’m
3. modality has come to be discussed in stylissorry.
tics, text linguistics and literary semantics as
a result of increasing interest in discourse and
2. anacoluthon is a grammatical sequence which
interpersonal relations between implied author
begins in one way, and finishes in another: “she
and reader, and the broad issue of point of view
was responsible for – had to interview me.”
in fiction. it can be argued that fiction operates in the non-alethic modal system (alethic
3. ellipsis is leaving out, gk. (“two glasses (of
modality = dealing with the “truth” of propowine) please.”)
sition, from gk), since no fictional utterance is
4. syllepsis: taking together, gk. 1 word is used in
true or factual, except in the fictional world cre2 senses within the same utterance and where
ated. what is in issue is what might or could
the effect is putting together 2 co-ordinate constructions with ellipsis. it is frequently used
with comic and satiric effects: “she went home
in a flood of tears and a sedan chair.” syllepsis
can be grammatical and semantic, for example,
grammatical: i saw it everywhere, in the house
and outside.
when the semantic roles of the coordinates do
not match we classify semantic syllepsis: the
pavement and i felt cold. my patience and the
lecture were at an end.
sometimes, cases of semantic syllepsis, where
one verb serves more clauses, are difficult to
distinguish from zeugma, eg “time and her aunt
moved slowly.”
5. embedding: one sentence is included in another (also called subordination): “strether’s
first question, [when he reached the hotel], was
about his friend, yet on his learning [that waymarsh was apparently not to arrive till evening]
he was not wholly disconcerted. (h. james: the
(c) synonymy in syntax
synonymy plays an important role in the creation
of the text style. syntactic synonymy can be lexical and grammatical, the following stylistic devices
are based on the relation of synonymy.
isocolon from gk ‘equal member’ phrases or clauses
are of equal length and parallel in syntax and hence
in rhythm. it is frequent especially in euphemism
and in the prose style of writers influenced by latin
rhetoric. eg “the notice which you have been pleased
to take of my labours, had it been early, had been
kind; but it has been delayed till i am indifferent, and
cannot enjoy it; till i am solitary, and cannot impart
it; till i am known, and do not want it.” (johnson,
1754: letter to lord chesterfield).
when more words are used than necessary (for
stylistic purposes, eg emphasis) we discuss either
redundancy (for example, flowery language such
as “in the month of june” = in june), or pleonasm
(when redundant words are used, eg he kicked the
ball with his foot. i can see with my own eyes.)
or, if the same proposition is repeated in different
words we refer to tautology, for example kids are
kids. also paraphrases can be included here.
6. cleft constructions: the elements of the predication are split between two structures, as in the syntactic structures embedded or juxtaposed in a
sentence “bill cooked it. it was bill who cooked sentence repeated indefinitely (at least in theory)
are recursions. in practice, extended recursion, alit.”
though acceptable, is rare. examples can be found
7. fronting: syntactic shifting of elements, usually in nursery rhymes, such as the following string of
for highlighting or emphasis, from their nor- relative clauses: “this is the farmer sowing his corn,
mal post-verbal position to the beginning of the / that kept the cock, that crowed in the morn, / that
sentence or clause: “yet one tree you must not waked the priest all shaven and shorn. . . ” (the house
touch.” expressiveness of syntactic construc- that jack built). it is not only the clause type that can
be recursive a syntagm can be recursive too:
tions is based on two main aspects:
the meat [ [on the [table] in [the kitchen] ] ].
(a) they are deviant and anomalous
examples of recursive clauses are typical in spoken
utterances, for example:
(b) they are rare
8. word-order: in addition to the neutral or unmarked word-order (s-v-o), for stylistic reasons
variations occur, for example, fronting of object, or inversion of subject and verb: “that
man i detest.” (osv) “no motion has she now,
no force.” (ovso). in colloquial language adverbials are quite mobile: “very quickly she
walked away from him.”
[he said [that she had promised [she’d come] ] ]
c ba
clause c is a complement of promised (b) which is in
turn a complement of said (a) which could be complement in a sentence like
i was told
[he said that she had promised she’d come]
9. length of a sentence and its type: (ie parataxis,
hypotaxis, periodic sentence, etc.) are also
stylistically relevant. together with deviant and so on. there is also a different form of recursion
syntactic constructions (eg syllepsis, zeugma, in which coordination is involved: “i looked for that
anacoluthon) they bring about expressiveness which is not, nor can be”. the relative clause has two
to the text.
predicates, joined by the conjunction nor, we could,
in principle add a third (which is not, nor can be, nor paragraph building in the style of official documents
should be) or a third and a fourth, etc.
is mainly governed by the particular conventional
syntactical expressive means and stylistic devices forms of documents (charters, pacts, diplomatic
documents, business letters, legal documents etc).
(a) general considerations.
here paragraphs may sometimes embody what are
rhetoric was mainly engaged in the observation of
grammatically called a number of parallel clauses.
the juxtaposition of the members of the sentence and
they are usually made formally subordinate for the
in finding ways and means of building larger and
sake of the wholeness of the document, but in reality
more elaborate spans of utterance, as for example,
they are independent items.
the period or periodical sentence.
paragraph structure in the belles-lettres and pubmodern grammars have greatly extended the scope licistic styles is strongly affected by the purport of
of structural analysis and have taken under obser- the author. to secure the desired impact, a writer
vation the peculiarities of the relations between the finds it necessary to give details and illustrations,
members of the sentence, somehow has overshad- to introduce comparisons and contrasts, to give adowed problems connected with structural and se- ditional reasons and finally, to expand the topic by
mantic patterns of larger syntactical units (the study looking at it from different angles and paraphrasing
of units of speech larger than the sentence is still it.
being neglected by many linguists. some of them the length of a paragraph normally varies from eight
even consider such units to be extralinguistic, thus to twelve sentences. the longer the paragraph is, the
excluding them entirely from the domain of linguis- more difficult it is to follow the purport of the writer.
attempts have been made to classify paragraphs
(b) the composition of spans of utterance wider than from the point of view of the logical sequence of
the sentences. these are the models of paragraphs
the sentence
built on different principles:
the syntactical whole is used to denote a larger unit
than sentence. a combination of sentences present1. from the general to the particular, or from the
ing a structural and semantic unity backed up by
particular to the general
rhythmic and melodic unity. any syntactical whole
will lose its unity if it suffers breaking.
2. on the inductive or deductive principle
(‘utterance’ denotes a certain span of speech in
3. from cause to effect, or from effect to cause
which we observe coherence, interdependence of
the elements, one definite idea, and last but not least,
4. on contrast, or comparison
the ‘purport’ of the writer.)
paragraph is a graphical term used to name a group
of sentences marked off by indentation at the beginning and a break in the line at the end. a distinct
portion of a written discourse showing an internal
unity, logical in character (in fact the paragraph as a
category is half linguistics, half logical. as a logical
category it is characterised by coherence and relative
unity of the ideas expressed, as a linguistic category
it is a unit of utterance marked off by purely linguistic means: intonation, pauses of various lengths, semantic ties).
in the building of paragraphs in newspaper style
other requirements are taken into consideration,
for instance, psychological principles, in particular the sensational effect of the communication and
the grasping capacity of the reader for quick reading. considerations of space also play an important
part. this latter consideration sometimes over-rules
the necessity for logical arrangement and results in
breaking the main rule of paragraph building (the
unity of idea).
(c) compositional patterns of syntactical arrangement
the structural syntactical aspect is sometimes regarded as the crucial issue in stylistic analysis, although the peculiarities of syntactical arrangement
are not so conspicuous as the lexical and phraseological properties of the utterance.
stylistic inversion: word order is a crucial syntactical problem in many languages. the most conspicuous places in the sentence are considered to be the
first and the last: the first place because the full force
of the stress can be felt at the beginning of an utterance and the last place because there is a pause after
it. this traditional word order has developed a definite intonation design.
stylistic inversion aims at attaching logical stress or
additional emotional colouring to the surface meaning of the utterance. the following patterns of stylistic inversion are most frequently met in both english
prose and english poetry:
1. the object is placed at the beginning of the sen- the most significant parts of the utterance from the
tence: “talent mr. micawber has; capital mr. author’s point of view. eg “ ‘i want to go,’ he said,
micawber has not.”
miserable.” detached construction causes the simultaneous realization of 2 grammatical meanings of a
2. the attribute is placed after the word it modifies
word (the word miserable can be understood as an
(postposition of the attribute). this model is ofadverbial modifier to the word ‘said’ if not for the
ten used when there is more than one attribute:
comma, though grammatically ‘miserably’ would
“with fingers weary and worn. . . ”, “once upon
be expected). the pause indicated by the comma ima midnight dreary. . . ”
plies that miserable is an adjective used absolutely
3. (a) the predicative is placed before the sub- and referring to the pronoun he.
ject as in: “a good generous prayer it a variant of detached construction is parenthesis, a
qualifying, explanatory or appositive word, phrase,
(b) the predicative stands before the link verb clause, sentence, or other sequence which interrupts
and both are placed before the subject as a syntactic construction without otherwise affecting
in: “rude am i in my speech. . . ” (shake- it, having often a characteristic intonation and indicated in writing by commas, brackets or dashes.
parallel construction is a device which can be en4. the adverbial modifier is placed at the begincountered not so much in the sentence as in the
ning of the sentence, as in: “eagerly i wished
macro-structures. the necessary condition in paralthe morrow.”
lel construction is identical, or similar, syntactical
5. both modifier and predicate stand before the structure in two or more sentences or parts of a sentence, as in: “there were, . . . , real silver spoons to
subject, as in: “in went mr. pickwick.”
stir the tea with, and real china cups to drink it out
detached constructions: sometimes one of the sec- of, and plates of the same to hold the cakes and toast
ondary parts of the sentence by some specific con- in.” are often backed up by repetition of words (lexsideration of the writer is placed so that it seems for- ical repetition) and conjunctions and prepositions
mally independent of the word it logically refers to. (polysyndeton). pure parallel construction does not
such parts of structures are called detached. they depend on any other kind of repetition but the repeseem to dangle in the sentence as isolated parts. the tition of the syntactical design of the sentence.
detached part, being torn away from its referent, as- parallel constructions may be partial or complete.
sumes a greater degree of significance and is given
1. partial parallel arrangement is the repetition of
prominence by intonation. the structural patterns of
some parts of successive sentences or clauses
detached constructions have not yet been classified,
as in: “it is the mob that labour in your fields
but the most noticeable cases are those in which an
serve in your houses – that man your navy
attribute or an adverbial modifier is placed not in imand
recruit your army, – that have enabled you
mediate proximity to its referent, but in some other
all the world, and can also defy you
position: “steyne rose up, grinding his teeth, pale,
and calamity have driven them to
and with fury in his eyes.” “sir pitt came in first,
structure is in general that
very much flushed, and rather unsteady in his gait.”
the third attributive
sometimes a nominal phrase is thrown into the senclause
of the first two,
tence forming a syntactical unit with the rest of the
in gensentence, as in: “and he walked slowly past again,
along the river – an evening of clear, quiet beauty,
all harmony and comfort, except within his heart.”
2. complete parallel arrangement is also called
detached constructions in their common forms make
balance. it is based on the principle of identhe written variety of language akin to the spoken
tical structures throughout the corresponding
variety where the relation between the component
sentences, as in: “the seeds ye sow – another
parts is effectively materialised by means of intonareaps, / the robes ye weave – another wears, /
tion. detached constructions become a peculiar dethe arms ye forge – another bears.”
vice bridging the norms of written and spoken language.
parallel construction is most frequently used in enuthis stylistic device is akin to inversion, the func- meration, antithesis and in climax, thus consolidattions are almost the same. but detached construc- ing the general effect achieved by these stylistic detions produce much stronger effects. they represent vices.
chiasmus (reversed parallel construction) belongs
to the group of stylistic devices based on the repetition of a syntactic pattern, but it has a cross order of
words and phrases. “as high as we have mounted in
delight in our dejection do we sink as low.” “down
dropped the breeze, the sails dropped down.”
chiasmus is sometimes achieved by a sudden change
from active voice to passive or vice versa. “the register of his burial was signed by the clergyman, the
clerk, the undertaker and the chief mourner. scrooge
signed it.”
repetition is an expressive means of language used
when the speaker is under the stress of strong emotion. it shows the state of mind of the speaker.
repetition when used as stylistic device does not aim
at making a direct emotional impact. it aims at logical emphasis, an emphasis necessary to fix the attention of the reader on the keyword of the utterance.
if the repeated word comes at the beginning of two
or more consecutive sentences, clauses we have
anaphora. if the repeated unit is placed at the end
we have epiphora. “i am exactly the man to be
placed in a superior position in such a case as that.
i above the rest of mankind, in such a case as that. i
can act with philosophy in such a case as that.” here
the repetition becomes a background against which
the statements preceding the repeated unit are made
to stand out more conspicuously. this is an additional function and it does not mean that the logical
function of the repetition is fading.
repetition can be arranged in the form of a frame,
the initial parts of a syntactic unit or paragraph are
repeated at the end of it.
linking or reduplication is also known as anadiplosis. the last word or phrase of one part of an utterance is repeated at the beginning of the next part,
thus hooking two parts together. the writer, instead
of moving on, seems to double back on his tracks
and pick up his last word.
sometimes a writer may use the linking device several times in one utterance, this compositional form
of repetition is called chain-repetition, as in: “a
smile would come into mr. pickwick’s face: the
smile extended into a laugh into a roar, and the roar
became general.”
another variety can be called synonym repetition.
this is the repetition of the same idea by using
synonymous words and phrases. “the poetry of
earth is never dead. . . the poetry of earth is ceasing
never. . . ”
there are two terms which used to indicate the negative attitude of the critic to all kinds of synonym
repetitions. these are pleonasm (the use of more
words in a sentence than are necessary) and tautology (repetition of the same statement, phrase or
ideas in other words) “it was a clear starry night,
and not a cloud was to be seen.” “he was the only
survivor, no one else was saved.”
enumeration is a stylistic device by means of which
homogeneous parts of an utterance are made heterogeneous from the semantic point of view. the
enumeration in the following example is heterogeneous, the legal terms placed in a string with common words result in a kind of clash: “scrooge was
his sole executor, his sole administrator, his sole assign, his sole residuary legatee, his sole friend and
his sole mourner.”
climax is an arrangement of sentences (or of the
homogeneous parts of one sentence) which secures
a gradual increase in significance, importance, or
emotional tension in the utterance as in: “it was a
lovely city, a beautiful city, a fair city, a veritable
gem of a city.”
logical climax is based on the relative importance
of the component parts looked at from the point of
view of the concepts embodied in them. this relative
importance can be evaluated objectively and subjectively.
emotional climax is based on the relative emotional
tension produced by words with emotive meaning,
as in the first example, w/the words ‘lovely’, ‘beautiful’, ‘fair’.
quantitative climax is an evident increase in the volume of the corresponding concepts: “they looked
at hundreds of houses, they climbed thousands of
stairs, they inspected innumerable kitchens.” (s.
antithesis stylistic opposition based on relative opposition which arises out of the context through the
expansion of objectively contrasting pairs, as in:
“youth is lovely, age is lonely, youth is fiery, age
is frosty,”
(d) particular ways of combining parts of the utterance
for a long time only two types of connection have
been under the observation of linguists: coordination and subordination (parataxis and hypotaxis).
the language means of expressing these two types of
logical connection of ideas are correspondingly divided into coordinating and subordinating conjunctions.
asyndeton is the connection between parts of a
sentence or between sentences without any formal
sign. there is a deliberate omission of the connective where it is generally expected to be according to
the norms of the literary language. “soames turned
away, he had an utter disinclination for talk, like
one standing before an open grave, watching a coffin
slowly lowered.”
polysyndeton connects sentences or phrases or syntagms or words by using connectives (mostly conjunctions and prepositions) before each component
part as in: “the heaviest rain, and snow, and hail,
and sleet, could boast of the advantage over him in
only one respect.”
the gap-sentence link: the connection which is not
immediately apparent and it requires a certain mental effort to grasp the interrelation between the parts
of the utterance, in other words, to bridge the semantic gap. “she and that fellow ought to be the suffers,
and they were in italy.” in this sentence the second
part, seems to be unmotivated or, logically incoherent. but this is only the first impression, after a more
careful superlinear semantic analysis becomes clear
that the exact logical variant of the utterance would
be: ‘those who ought to suffer were enjoying themselves in italy (where well-to-do english people go
for holidays)’.
(e) peculiar use of colloquial constructions
emotional syntactical structures typical of the spoken language are those used in informal and intimate
conversation where personal feelings are introduced
into the utterance. they are common in dialogue
where they are hardly perceived as special devices.
they stand out in the written language.
ellipsis is a typical phenomenon in conversation. it
becomes a stylistic device, inasmuch as it supplies
supersegmental information. an elliptical sentence
in direct intercourse is not a stylistic device, it is
simply a norm of the spoken language. “so justice oberwaltzer – solemnly and didactically from
his seat to the jury.” (dreiser). the absence of the
predicate in this sentence is a deliberate device. it
suggests the author’s personal state of mind, his indignation at the shameless speech of the justice.
ellipses, when used as a stylistic device, always imitates the common features of colloquial language,
where the situation predetermines not the omission
of certain members of the sentence, but their absence. it would probably be adequate to call sentences lacking certain members “incomplete sentences”, leaving the term ellipsis to specify structures where we recognise a digression from the traditional literary sentence structure.
break-in-the-narrative (aposiopesis) is defined as
a stopping short for rhetorical effect. in the spoken variety of the language a break in the narrative is usually caused by unwillingness to proceed,
or by the supposition that what remains to be said
can be understood by the implication embodied in
what was said. in conversation the implication can
be conveyed by an adequate gesture, in writing it
is the context, which suggests the adequate intonation, that is the only key to decoding. “if you continue your intemperate way of living, in six months’
time. . . ” the implication of this aposiopesis is ‘a
question-in-the-narrative changes the real nature
of a question and turns it into a stylistic device.
a question in the narrative is asked and answered
by one and the same person, usually the author.
“scrooge knew he was dead? of course he did. how
could it be otherwise? scrooge and he were partners
for i don’t know how many years.”
represented speech: there are three ways of reproducing actual speech:
1. repetition of the exact utterance as it was spoken (direct speech)
2. conversion of the exact utterance into the reader’s mode of expression (indirect speech)
3. representation of the actual utterance by a second person, usually the author, as if it had been
spoken but is only represented in the author’s
words (represented speech)
to distinguish between the two varieties of represented speech we call the representation of the actual utterance through the author’s language uttered
represented speech, and the representation of the
thoughts and feelings of the character unuttered or
inner represented speech.
(f) transferred use of structural meaning
syntactical structures may also be used in meanings other than their primary ones. every syntactical
structure has its definite function, which is sometimes called its structural meaning. when a structure is used in some other function it may be said
to assume the new meaning which is similar to lexical transferred meaning. among syntactical stylistic
devices there are two in which this transference of
structural meaning is to be seen. they are rhetorical
question and litotes.
rhetorical question reshaping the grammatical meaning of the interrogative sentence. in other words,
a question is no longer a question but a statement
expressed in the form of an interrogative sentence.
thus there is an interplay of two structural meanings:
(1) that of the question and (2) that of a statement.
both are materialised simultaneously. “are these the
remedies for a starving and desperate populace?”
2. artificial (traffic signs, notes, agreed gestures)
3. conventional (colour of mourning – black, strilitotes: a peculiar use of negative constructions. the
king of a clock, gesture of threatening or warnnegation + noun or adjective serves to establish a
positive feature in a person or thing. this positive
feature, however, is somewhat diminished in quality
as compared with a synonymous expression making semiotics (theory of signs) studies also biosemia straightforward assertion of the positive feature. otic signs (noises and movements of animals, their
let us compare the following two pairs of sentences: smells, etc.) and ethnosemiotic signs (signs related
to specific rituals and celebrations within certain
ethnic groups, eg kneeling and standing up, etc).
1. it’s not a bad thing – it’s a good thing.
ogden and richards became popular for capturing
2. he is no coward – he is a brave man.
the nature of a language sign (and the naming prolitotes is used in different styles of speech, excluding cess) into the so called semiotic / semantic triangle.
those which may be called the matter-of-fact styles, the triangle can be seen as related to the stylistic
study in the following way:
like official style and scientific prose.
extralinguistic expressive means
every process of communication takes place in a certain situation and relies heavily on the exploitation
of expressive means. in addition to the language expressive means we use the so called paralanguage, ie
para-linguistic / extra-linguistic expressive means.
communication in the spoken medium involves not
only utterances that realize language (verbal), but
also other system of signs, that are non-verbal. in
this respect, paralanguage is often regarded as (1) a
non-verbal, but vocal system, along with prosodic
features such as pitch and loudness. characteristic
paralinguistic features are noises that do not function as phonemes, but nonetheless do communicate
a ‘meaning’ or attitude in speech (giggles, snorts,
exclamations of disgust).
other definitions include (2) prosodic features and
also other non-vocal signs like facial expressions
and gestures.
1. a thing / phenomenon / fact is the topic of conversation
2. a name is the text (written or spoken)
3. a thought / meaning is the content of the text as
we understand and perceive it when reading it
or listening to it
semiotic triangle related to stylistics:
1. referent (thing) = the topic
2. (a) thought (meaning) = the content
3. symbol (name) = the text
the process of naming is more complex in stylistics,
it requires the whole variety of linguistic expressive
means and a complex set of extra-linguistic expressive means.
paralanguage significantly interacts with language umberto eco (1975) classifies extra-linguistic exin spoken discourse (it is not easily represented in pressive means into the following groups:
the written discourse). speakers rely on paralin• kinesics (gestures, mimetic movements, body
guistic feedback from their addressees; the audilanguage)
ence watching and listening to a play can catch
a whole range of emotional and attitudinal conno• para-linguistic (intonation in general)
tations from the vocalisations of the actors. actors in turn can judge from the laughs, boos, hisses
• proximity (closeness) is a ‘distance’ between
or coughs something of the audience’s reactions to
the speaker and recipient
their performances.
the signs used in the process of communication can jozef mistrik (1985) distinguishes 2 categories:
be natural or artificial. in his theory of signs a. schaff
• visual expressive means (graphology and ki(1963) distinguishes three kinds of signs:
1. natural (fever – a sign of illness, flash – a sign
• phonetic expressive means
of a storm)
visual expressive means function in written texts as
an extremely important semantic component (like
intonation in the spoken utterances).
graphetics is the study of written or printed shapes
(like phonetics is the study of sounds and potential
utility of human voice). graphetics is thus visual
analogue of phonetics. an examination of sounds
and shapes in themselves will not provide a great
deal of stylistic information, but certain facts are
of relevance for a complete understanding of stylistic effect. for example isolated sounds and shapes
may have a definite aesthetic appeal, they may be
interpreted as reflecting aspects of reality (eg onomatopoeia) or conveying a meaning (sound symbolism).
such matters as the choice of type-size or colour in a
text are essentially non-linguistic, but they too may
have clear linguistic implications, perhaps relating
to the semantic structure of the utterance (eg advertising or newspaper articles) or even to its grammatical structure (there are non-random correlations
between type-size and grammar in posters, for instance).
the term graphetics is also used for the study of typographical and visual devices in art (a less confusing alternative is graphicology).
graphology is the study of a language’s writing system, or orthography, as seen in various kinds of
handwriting and typography. again, it is analogous
to phonology which studies the sound system of a
given language. in this area stylistics describes patterns of sounds and writing that distinguish varieties
of english. within graphology we examine distinctive usage of punctuation, capitalisation, spacing,
etc. some other typical examples of visual expressive means are
expressions and body movements not only act as
important reinforcements to speech, indicating attitudinal or emotive meanings (smiles, frowns, fistclenching), but provide significant clues to participants about speaking and turn-taking rights, and
also feedback about how information is being received. the phenomena studied within kinesics can
be summarised as follows:
• graphic expressive means (pictures, illustrations, drawings, etc.)
• direct o. is contained in words that imitate
natural sounds (buzz, bang, cuckoo). these
words have different degrees of imitative quality. these words can be used in a transferred
meaning (ding-dong – bells rung continuously,
may mean (1) noisy, (2) strenuously contested
– a ding-dong struggle)
• choice of colours (considering the semantic
message of colours)
• exploitation of geometrical shapes
• use of diacritics: fullstop, comma, semi-colon,
brackets, etc.
kinesics (gr. kineo = move) is used to describe
the communication system of gestures and motion,
ie ‘body language’. the word is also used to describe the study of this. recently, the study of nonverbalised (even non-vocalised) aspects of face-toface interaction has become very popular and studied as an integral part of communication. facial
1. mimetic movements (facial expressions)
2. gestures (hand movements)
3. body language (all body movements)
phonetic expressive means
it might be important how the way a word, a phrase
or a sentence sounds. the sound of most words taken
separately will have little or no aesthetic value. it is
in combination with other words that a word may
acquire a desired phonetic effect. the way a separate word sounds may produce a certain euphonic
impression, but this is the matter of individual perception and feeling and therefore subjective. the
way words sound in combination contributes something to the general effect of the message, particularly when the sound effect has clearly been deliberately worked out.
onomatopoeia is a combination of speech-sounds
produced in nature (wind, sea, thunder) by things
(machines, tools) by people (sighing, laughter) and
by animals. combination of speech sounds of this
type will inevitably be associated with whatever produces the natural sound. therefore the relation between onomatopoeia and the phenomenon it is supposed to represent is one of metonymy.
• indirect o. is a combination of sounds which
make the sound of the utterance an echo of its
sense. it is sometimes called “echo-writing.”
“and the silken, sad, uncertain rustling of each
purple curtain” (poe), where the repetition of
the sound ‘s’ actually produces the sound of
the rustling curtain. indirect o. unlike alliteration demands some mention of what makes the
sound (rustling of curtains).
indirect o. is sometimes very effectively used
by repeating words which themselves are not
onomatopoeic, as in poe’s poem “the bells”:
“silver bells. . . how they tinkle, tinkle, tinkle”
. . . “to the tintinnabulation that so musically
wells from the bells, bells, bells, bells, bells,
bells, bells - from the jingling and the tinkling
of the bells.”
more words used as a deliberate phonological device, which is associated mostly with literary, especially poetic, language; but it is also found in popular idioms (as dead as a doornail), tongue twisters
(peter piper picked a peck of pickeled peppers)
in poetry used also for onomatopoeic effects, to suggest by the association of sounds what is being described.
the alliterated syllables are also the strongly acfrom gk ‘name-making’, the lexical process of cre- cented or stressed syllables, and so are related to the
ating words which actually sound like their referent. rhythmic pattern:
the name-reference relationship of these words is
• continuous alliteration ( x x x x )
characteristically conventional and arbitrary. to
some extent, onomatopoeic words are as conven• transverse alliteration ( x y x y )
tional as other words, in that their phonemic shape
conforms to the language system of their coiners,
despite the apparent universality of their reference rhyme is the repetition of identical or similar termi(eg ducks say quack, quack in english but coin, coin nal sound combinations of words. rhyming words
in french).
are generally placed at a regular distance from each
many noises are not easily verbalised, so that it re- other, in verse they are usually placed at the end
quires considerable interpretative power to recog- of the corresponding lines. identity and particularly
nise the reference of iiiaaaaach as a yawn in chil- similarity of sound combinations is relative:
dren’s comics; phut or vrach as bomb shells in the
• full rhymes: identity of the vowel sound and
first world war poems; or krankle as the sound of a
the following consonant sounds in a stressed
tram in joyce’s ulysses.
syllable (might-right, needless-headless)
in literary language onomatopoeia is often much exploited as an expressive iconic device, along with
• incomplete rhymes:
other sound associations that can be grouped under
the general heading of phonaesthesia or sound sym– vowel rhymes: identical vowels in corbolism.
responding words, the consonants can be
phonaesthesia is the study of the expressiveness of
different (flesh-fresh-press)
sounds, particularly those sounds which are felt to
– consonant rhymes: (worth-forth)
be appropriate to the meaning of their lexemes. in
words like flail, flap, flare, flush, flick, fling, flop and
– compound or broken rhymes: the comflounce the initial fl- suggests sudden movement; in
bination of words is made to sound like
bash, crash, smash and trash, -ash suggests violent
one word, ie colloquial and sometimes
humorous touch. one word rhymes with a
combination of words (upon her honoursound symbolism the connection between sound or
won her)
phoneme and meaning is felt to be more motivated,
less arbitrary, than with symbolism proper.
– compound rhyme: may be set against
the iconism varies. words like bump, crump, thump
what is called eyerhyme, where the letmight indicate a dull sound on impact; but gl- as in
ters not sounds are identical (love-prove,
glitter, glimmer, glint, glisten, gleam, glow, does not
flood-brood, have-grave).
actually mime the light it so evidently suggests.
alliteration aims at imparting a melodic effect to the acc. to the way the rhymes are arranged within the
utterance using repetition of similar sounds, in par- stanza we distinguish certain models:
ticular consonant sounds in close succession, partic1. couplets (aa)
ularly at the beginning of successive words: “deep
into the darkness peering, long i stood there wonder2. triple (aaa)
ing, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortals
ever dared to dream before.”
3. cross (abab)
sometimes rather loosely paraphrased as initial rhy4. framing or ring (abba)
me. the repetition of the initial consonant in two or
rhythm exists in all spheres of human activity and
assumes the whole variety of forms. “rhythm is a
flow, movement, procedure, etc., characterised by
basically regular recurrence of elements or features,
as beat, or accent, in alternation with opposite or different elements or features” (webster’s).
rhythm is primarily a periodicity, a deliberate arrangement of speech into regularly occurring units.
it is the main factor which brings order into the utterance. rhythm in language necessarily demands
oppositions that alternate: long, short, stressed, unstressed, high, low, etc. contrasting segments of
assonance (1) a partial or half-rhyme much used
in poetic language as an aspect of sound patterning and cohesion. the same (stressed) vowel is repeated in words, but with a different final consonant
(fish n’ chips). “break, break, break, / on thy cold
grey stones, o sea!” the double assonance of the
diphthongs (ei) and (ou) enforces the lexical links
of break and grey, cold and stone; and also suggests
(by the vowel length) the steady, inexorable movement of the sea, as well as the narrator’s anguish.
(2) sometimes more loosely used to refer to all kinds
of phonological recurrence or juxtaposition, e.g. alliteration and rhyme.
to this essentially practical classification, the prague
school linguists added a 4th category: an aesthetic
to this scheme jacobson (1960) added 3 other functions in his equally influential model of the speech
4. phatic function: establishes and maintains contact between participants
5. metalingual function: focuses on the language
6. poetic function: corresponds to the prague
school aesthetic function
classification of language styles
each style of the literary language makes use of a
group of language means the interrelation of which
is peculiar to the given style. it is the coordination
of the language means and stylistic devices which
shapes the distinctive features of each style, and not
the language means or stylistic devices themselves.
mistrik’s classification:
scientific administrative
functional styles of english lang
stylistic significance is the study of the function of
linguistic elements in texts is central, not only of
their grammatical function, but more importantly of
their function in relation to the meaning of the text,
their contribution to the overall theme and structure.
non-literary stylistics and register studies have related situational types of language to predominant
functions, for example, advertising with persuasion,
tv commentary with information, etc. in text linguistics, it is distinguished between descriptive, narrative and argumentative texts.
attempts to categorise functions of language
buhler’s (1934) broad threefold classification based
on the essential elements:
1. addresser: to express the speaker’s feelings –
expressive function
2. addressee: to appeal to, or to influence the addressee – appellative or conative function
3. sign: to represent the real world – descriptive
or referential function
the functions are not regarded as mutually exclusive,
an utterance can have more than one function.
publicistic rhetorical
in the study of english stylistics we will discuss general characteristics of the belles-letters style (corresponds to umelecky in mistrik’s), publicistic style,
newspaper style (both correspond to publicisticky),
scientific prose style (corresponds to odborny) and
the style of official documents (corresponds to administrativny).
different terminology should be noticed when comparing english and slovak. sometimes it might be
even more convenient to discuss the language of a
particular text than trying to include the text under some of the umbrella terms. for example, the
slovak term publicisticky styl covers different areas
than the english term publicistic style. so we prefer
to discuss the language of newspapers separately in
english. the term essayistic style is uncommon in
english. language of essays is discussed within publicistic style as one of its three varieties. similarly,
the notion of colloquial style is often referred to as
language of conversation, etc.
belles-lettres style is a generic term for three sub- the writer is the only correct one and to cause him
styles in which the main principles and the most to accept the point of view expressed in the speech,
essay or article not merely by logical argumentageneral properties of the style are materialised:
tion, but by emotional appeal as well (brain-washing
1. the language of poetry, or simply verse
due to its characteristic combination of logical argu2. emotive prose, or the language of fiction
mentation and emotional appeal, it has features in
common with scientific prose.
3. language of drama
its emotional appeal is achieved by the use of emothe common feature of belles-lettres style can be tive words, the use of imagery and other stylistic denamed as the aesthetico-cognitive function. it is a vices as in emotive prose; but not fresh or genuine.
double function which aims at the cognitive process, the number of individual elements essential to the
which secures the gradual unfolding of the idea to belles-lettres style is small.
the reader and at the same time evokes feelings of the manner of presenting ideas, brings this style
pleasure, which is derived from the form in which closer to belles-lettres, to emotive prose, as it is to a
the content is presented. this pleasure is caused not certain extent individual. naturally, of course, essays
only by admiration of the selected language means and speeches have greater individuality than newsand their peculiar arrangement but also by the fact paper and magazine articles where the individual elthat the reader is lead to form his own conclusions. ement is generally toned down and limited by the
nothing gives more pleasure and satisfaction than requirements of the style.
realizing that one has the ability to penetrate into ten aspects that should be present in a report or
the hidden tissue of events, phenomena and human commentary to make it successful: immediacy (in
activity, and to perceive the relation between vari- medias res), proximity (relation to recipient), conous seemingly unconnected facts brought together sequence (comment on consequences), prominence
(inform about the latest and interesting events),
by the creative mind of the writer.
drama (dramatic events), oddity (originality), conbasic features:
flict, sex, emotions, progress.
• genuine imagery, achieved by purely linguistic also characterised by brevity of expression. short redevices
port is focused on five w’s: who, what, where, when
and why. in essays brevity sometimes becomes epi• the use of words in contextual and very often in
more than one dictionary meaning,
newspaper style was the last of all to be recognised
• a vocabulary which will reflect the author’s per- as a specific form of writing standing apart from
sonal evaluation of things or phenomena
other forms. it took the english newspaper more
than a century to establish a style and a standard of
• introduction of typical features of colloquial its own. and it is only by the 19th century that newslanguage to a full degree (plays) or a lesser one paper english may be said to have developed into a
(emotive prose) or a slight degree, if any (po- system of language means which forms a separate
functional style.
serves the purpose of informing and instructing the
publicistic style became a separate style in the midreader. not all the printed matter found in newsdle of the 18th century. it also falls into 3 varieties,
papers comes under newspaper style. the modern
each having its own distinctive features which intenewspaper carries diverse material (stories, poems,
grate them. unlike other styles, the publicistic style
crossword puzzles, chess problems). these are not
has spoken varieties, the oratorical substyle. the deconsidered specimens of newspaper style. nor can
velopment of radio and television has brought about
articles in special fields, such as science and techa new spoken variety, namely, the radio commennology, art, literature, etc. be classed as belonging
tary. the other 2 are the essay (moral, philosophical,
to newspaper style.
literary) and articles (political, social, economic) in
the primary function of newspaper style is to impart
newspapers, journals and magazines. book reviews
in journals and magazines and also pamphlets are
generally included among essays.
• brief news items and communiques
the general aim is to influence the public opinion, to
• press reports
convince the reader that the interpretation given by
• articles purely informational in character
• advertisements and announcement
the most concise form of newspaper information is
the headline, which apart from giving information,
also carries appraisal (the size and arrangement of
the headline, the use of emotionally coloured words
and elements of emotive syntax), thus indicating the
interpretation of the facts in the news item that follows.
but the principal vehicle of interpretation and appraisal is the newspaper article, and the editorial.
leading articles or leaders, are characterised by a
subjective handling of facts, political or otherwise,
and therefore have more in common with political essays or articles and should rather be classed
as belonging to publicistic style than newspaper
style. though it seems natural to consider newspaper
articles, editorials included, as coming within the
system of english newspaper style, it is necessary
to note that such articles are an intermediate phenomenon characterised by a combination of styles,
the newspaper style and the publicistic style.
piece of scientific prose will begin with postulatory pronouncements which are taken as selfevident and needing no proof.
2. argumentative: the writer’s own ideas which
represent a theory, an argument.
3. formulative
some other features of scientific prose: use of quotations and references, frequent use of foot-notes, digressive in character, the impersonality of scientific
writings (frequent use of passive constructions w/the
verbs suppose, assume, presume, conclude).
official documents style contains these substyles:
• business documents
• legal documents
• diplomacy
• military documents
the main communicative aim of this style is to state
the conditions binding two parties in an undertaking. the most important feature is a special system of cliches, terms, set expressions by which each
substyle can easily be recognised (i beg to inform
you, the above-mentioned, on behalf of). each of
the subdivisions of this style has its own peculiar
terms, phrases and expressions which differ from the
corresponding terms of other variants of this style.
thus in finance we find terms like extra revenue, taxable capabilities. in legal language to deal with a
case, summary procedure, a body of judges. likewise other varieties of official language have their
special nomenclature, which is conspicuous in the
text, and therefore easily discernible.
features common to all varieties:
scientific style is governed by the aim to prove a hypothesis, to create new concepts, to disclose the internal laws of existence, development, relations between different phenomena, etc. the language means
used, therefore, tend to be objective, precise, unemotional, devoid of any individuality.
the first and most noticeable feature of this style is
the logical sequence of utterances with clear indication of the interrelations and interdependences.
a second most important feature is the use of terms
specific to each given branch of science. the necessity to penetrate deeper into the essence of things
and phenomena gives rise to new concepts, which
require new words to name them. a term will make
more direct reference to something than a descrip• the use of abbreviations, symbols, contractions
tive explanation, a non-term, hence the rapid creation of new terms.
• the use of words in their logical dictionary
words used in scientific prose will always be used in
meaning (in military documents sometimes
their primary logical meaning, even the possibility
metaphorical names are given to mountains,
of ambiguity is avoided. terms are coined to be as
rivers, hills or villages)
self-explanatory as possible.
• no words w/emotive meaning except those
modern scientific prose exchanges terms between
which are used in business letters as convenvarious branches, this is due to the interconnectional phrases of greeting or close (dear sir,
tion of scientific ideas (mathematical terms have
yours faithfully)
left their own domain and travel freely in other sciences).
the syntactical pattern of the style is as significant as
scientific style sentence-patterns:
the vocabulary though not perhaps so immediately
1. postulatory: a hypothesis must be based on apparent.
facts already known, defined. therefore every
english literature
english literature
ironic mode is modern and postmodern lit, demonic
prevails to apocalyptic. demonic world: ruins, catamakes more sense if you know that all of this is combs, deserts, dark spelled gardens, forests, tigers,
based on lectures by p. Petrikova (eng lit) and p. wolves, snakes, sea monsters. human world: tiran,
Smieskova (am lit) [a not very pm remark by the witch, prostitutes, sirens and victims. appearance:
compiler, could have used at least a f ootnote ].
caves, cages, whips, weapons, labyrinths. relationships: incest, homosexuality, blood, broken love,
unsolved problems, nightmares, pains, confusion,
4.1 parody
useless work, madness.
irony: we say one thing but mean another. a type of transtextuality: rewriting of an older text – kind of
tone, a particular way of speaking or writing. irony ironic mode, the reappearance of the old text in a
is classified as trope, other tropes are metaphore, new one. gerard genette: “palimsests” – object of
simile, metonymy.
poetics is not an isolated text but its textual link to
verbal irony: most common, there appears to be other texts. every writing is a re-writing of sthing
sthing odd or wrong w/the words and what they lit- old. a text grafted on other one becomes a hypotext.
erally mean, so we must interpret the text finding transtextual relations according to genette:
another meaning for it.
situational irony: intended by the author but the
1. intertextuality: quotations, allusions, plagiachars are unaware of it:
1. dramatic: the audience knows sthing significantly differs from what the chars believe
2. paratextuality: relation of the text to its title,
subtitle, epilogue, illustrations
2. structural: the text as a whole or a large part
of it is unreliable if taken literally. an alternative interpretation which is not made explicit is
3. metatextuality: critic commentary of the text,
comparison of 2 or more lit texts
4. hypertextuality: the relations of transformations, imitation, other transpositions and they are
transferred to the parody, pastiche, translation,
scenic adaptation, shortened version
mechanisms of irony: created by being overemphatic in saying sthing, or by internal inconsistency:
(a) a narrative which does not make sense, (b) in5. architextuality: relations of the pretext and
consistency in style, the register of the text changes
posttext (very loose, quiet), genealogic lines.
irony which destabilises: cases of irony when it is
example: s. beckett: “the dream of fair to middling
difficult to catch the intended meaning.
women”, straight allusion on tennyson: “dream of
ironic mode (fry) signifies the 4th stage of lit hist
fair woman”.
development, coming after mythological, romantic,
s. beckett: “first love” a young homeless w/o name,
mimetic. heroes:
allusion on hamlet, “there is the rub” vs “to be or
not to be”, metaphor of death – dream. the fear of
1. mythical: differs from the majority (better,
unknown stronger than will to commit suicide. enstronger, supernatural powers, beautiful, pervying the dead – bible “the living would envy the
parody para(besides) + ode(song), a false song or
2nd voice/vocal where the melody is transformed,
3. mimetic:
deformed. origin: when the reciter sang the nobel text of iliad or ulysses, modified some parts,
(a) higher (hero = leader): epos, drama
so the listeners wouldn’t get bored. in parody
(b) lower: not hero, no diff from others – ro- tragedy becomes comedy, serious humorous, noble
vulgar. mostly shorter lit forms (poems, riddles,
mantic, comedy, realist
songs, sayings, proverbs, slogans). greatest mas4. ironic: subordinated to his environment, frus- ter is joyce (civilisation – sifilisation, anonymous –
trated, diff in intelligence and ability or disabil- onanymous). playful transformation. according to
ity to act
genette parody is non-satirical.
2. romantic: brave human being (knight).
english literature
imitation elementary figure of pastiche, from fr.
pasta = alltaste. the style dictates the text, it has no
aggressive vulgarism of the caricature and it celebrates the hypotext. self-pastiche = the author imitates his own style.
sci-fi is a modern form of fantasy. rooted in ancient
myth, mysticism, folklore, fairy tale and romance.
fantastic = phantasticus (to make visible or manifest). fantasy is set in an imaginary world, where a
dog can speak and a man can fly and we do not ask
why and do not expect any explanation. in sci-fi,
there is some “scientific” explanation offered. usually set in the future, based on some aspect of science and technology. reflects events which have not
happened, but could in the future.
sci-fi and po-mo have in common the ontological
dominant that governs both artistic world perspectives – it is a sister genre of pm, which is among
non-canonised, so called low genres.
“sci-fi is lit of cognitive estrangement, ontological
estrangement, confronting the empirical givens of
our world with something not given, something outside it, beyond it.” (darko suvin)
estrangement is the process of alienation when the
things, which appear to be familiar become strange,
new, in terms of the cognitive process they may exist beyond the logic, or they may further develop already existing status of logic and science – strange
speculative fabulation: it is the life we know, but
diff in representational discontinuity.
techniques employed in sci-fi:
• to transport through time and space, or other
dimensions the representatives of our world to
diff worlds
time displacement:
• utopian pole, things from present are projected
into future (future history)
• dystopian pole: huxley: “brave new world”,
orwell: “1984”.
• other dimensions: parallel or alternate world
story based on historical speculation the “whatif” premise (j. borges: “the garden of forking
paths” [he constructed the web of time, leading
the reader to construct solution for what-if])
foregrounds the infinite possibility of parallel stories
existence thus exemplifying the ontological dominant through series of alternations neither of them
pm writers are rather interested in the soc and institutional consequences of technological innovation,
the soc agreements (soc and institutional extrapolations, living arrangements, norms of sexual behaviour, religious cults, future art forms).
grim dystopias: apocalypse and post-apocalypse
survival, the apocalyptic tradition fuses mimetic
and fantastic tradition. it draws on both strategies
that created world directly imitative of and therefore credible in relation to the ‘real’ world , and
the strategies that create world significantly diff, intended to exist as an incredible relationship with that
‘real’ world. the worlds of such fiction can be:
1. visionary or mystical worlds
2. other worlds often satirical in space and time
3. worlds describing the present reality in other
philosophical terms: new definitions of man,
reality, the nature of an outside manipulator, or
cyberpunk postmodern, post existential lit of a• involves intrusion of another world into this lienation and absurdity. vision is fragmentary,
its technique is collage and mosaic. reality beone
comes hyperreality, representation a simulation. setinterplanetary travel:
ting: artificial, nature has been defeated, slums
in the urban zone, zone within zone, interplane1. form of invasion from the outer space (h. g.
tary space, multiple-world space, computer generwells: “war of the worlds”, 1898)
ated space. chars: drug addicts, solitary tough and
cool youngsters, criminals, streetfighters, zombies,
2. planet hopping (star wars, star trek)
robots, clones, androids, soldiers, programmers.
3. the zero degree of interplanetary motif is based forefathers of cyberpunk were kafka, burgess. lang:
on a projection of a diff planet, which con- slang, jargon, computer dictionary. motifs: humanstructs integral, self contained planetary world ity defeated by technology, imperial oligarchy of
not explicitly related to the earth (f. herbert: transnational monopolies, anthropology of loneli“dune”)
ness in modern metropolis. gang replaces family,
english literature
theft work, violence friendship, sex love. outsiders
are hard, quick, dishonest players. female protagonists are strong and often prostitutes. the roles of
a mother a wife and mistress have lost their market
value. dehumanisation.
4. camera eye: not personal, similar to film techniques, persons and objects from outside in
such a way readers are forced to think of what
is going on inside
5. stream of c.: kind of internal monologue
lit discourse
fowler compares text to a sentence as chomsky’s
is relation between the teller and the chars and the transformational grammar. structure:
reader of the text, their opinions, interest, attitude.
1. surface: the text, observable layer of sentences,
discourse is an instrument of monological authority,
experienced directly
refers to cohesive units beyond the sentence, the au2. deep: the theme, the story, message of the author’s rhetorical stance towards his narrator, towards
thor (plot, chars, setting, theme), experienced
his chars, and towards his assumed readers.
by the act of decoding
narrator is a voice in the text, a function, and not
the author.
3. discourse: connects the deep and the surface
1. a speaker using his own voice
text is the shape of the message, visible dimension,
verbal record of a communicative act, a heap of de3. one who uses the mixture of his own voice and vices (irony, paradox), a tissue of quotations, closed
the voices of the others
semiotic system.
2. he who assumes the voice of another person
narration act of narrating. process of telling the
story. narrative is the product of narration. narratee
is a reader, but not all of the readers are narratees. in
tristram shandy the reader is addressed directly, it is
a function in the novel. reader can be
1. actual: implied, to whom it is written
2. ideal: who understands everything
3. naive: not educated
narrative consists primarily in the telling of sequence of connected events. usually has a point,
told for a reason. reality need not make sense but
narrative does. it is a way of making sense of the
world, thru telling stories about it. sometimes this
point is explicitly made in a concluding moral. it
is typically about a change, or about a lack leading
to restoration. the restoration is the closure. some
features: order of events, sense, coherence, change
(from 1 situation to other), coda (conclusion).
types of narrators:
1. 1st person: subjective, internal, one char,
stream of consciousness, present and past, he
lightens the scene for us by his eyes.
2. 3rd person
3. omniescent: objective, only showing, external,
zero degree of subj, god-like – can see everything
discourse dialogue, point of view, attitude, world
view, tone, author’s rhetorical stands, attire towards
his narrators, chars, readers. modality in the text’s
grammar, it is the speech participation and attitude
colouring of the text imparted by the author. property of the lang which mediates the interpersonal relationships between narrator, chars, reader, author.
words of the text of a narrative as opposed to the
story. often evaluative, persuasive, appraisive.
words of estrangement are modal verbs like feel,
seems, maybe, perhaps, for sure, somehow, etc.
narrative discourse is created out of the interaction
of the culture’s conventions, the author’s deployment of these conventions, and the reader’s activity
in releasing meaning from the text.
types of narrators according to stanzel
1. authorial: proper beginning, what happened
there and then, time order, selective importance, generalisation, 3rd, 1st person
2. personal: no proper beginning, about here and
now, chaotic, unreliable narrator, internal perspective
3. reflector: stream of consciousness, not in communicative situation, doesn’t speak, communicates while silent, a char who thinks, feels, but
doesn’t speak
4. camera eye: always in present tense, no comments, just showing, dehumanisation
english literature
ways of speech representation:
• monologue
and other stories, in a german pension, bliss and
other stories, in a dove’s nest, something childish,
collected letters.
• dialogue
garden party: a party in laura’s house. a man dies in
the neighbourhood, leaves a wife and 6 kids. laura
1. direct speech: she said: “well, there is stops the party, brings a basket to the poor family.
nothing i can say.”
in medias res. symbols: hat – diff personality, soc
2. indirect speech: she said that there was status: “forgive my hat.” wrote this when ill, knew
nothing she could say.
she’s gonna die.
3. free dialect: “it doesn’t bother you” “why g. greene – journey without maps, the lawless road,
should it?”
the power and the glory. short stories: the base4. free indirect speech: no graphical sign, ment room, may we borrow your husband, last word.
invented by joyce in dubliners, occurred divided novels: entertainment vs serious. serious
in austen’s emma too. we don’t know if novels: failure chars in comparison w/what they
part of narrator’s or char’s discourse, dou- wanted and hoped to do – are seen as being nearer to
ble coding. eg: for what? he asked her god than those who are more successful in worldly
with careful scorn. to compete with X in- ways. he has been obsessed w/the problem of good
capable of thinking correctly for 60 sec? and evil. curious compound of theology and stark
modern realism. sees the spiritual struggle of man
semiotics theory of signs, 3 step technique: object, against a background of townlife, mexican jungle,
concept, word. according to piers 3 groups:
wartime west africa. detective motives. accepted
catholic faith, but did not take it too strongly, felt
1. icon: resemblance (picture, map, plan)
conflict between catholic conventions and natural
2. index: corresponding to the facts (smoke = sign human instincts, the tension in his catholic novels:
brighton rock, the power and the glory, the heart
of fire)
of the matter, the end of the affair. from catholic
3. symbol: general sign (scale of justice)
motives he moves to great soc and pol conflicts of
nowadays. the comedians, the honorary consul, the
r. barthes codes in postmodern terminology
human factor. autobiography: a sort of life, sequel:
1. code of action: the main armature of readerly ways of escape.
text, all actions are seen as codable
stamboul train: soc, nationally, individually diff
chars in a small place and short time – travelling
2. hermeutic: code of puzzles, plays on the reby train thru vienna to istambul. international atader’s desire for truth, for the answer to quesmosphere after ww1.
tions raised by the text. responsible for the
the quiet american: vietnam war as seen by an
reader’s desire to complete the text
old english journalist fowler (neutral tone) vs young
3. cultural: the text’s reference to things already american diplomat alden pyle who is politically moknown, codified by a culture
tivated (democracy, helping vietnam) and involved
in terroristic gangs killing innocent people and chil4. connotative: in reading the reader “thematizes”
the text.
5. symbolic: meaning comes from some initial bi- 4.3 novel
nary opposition of differentiation
is an artificial verbal play w/no ties to reality. kunk. mansfield – new Zealand, tuberculosis. stud- dera: great prose form in which an author explores
ied music in london. was married for 3 days, gave by means of experimental selves some great themes
birth to a still-born child. next husband j. m. murry of existence. whatever aspects of existence the novel
(critic). met d. h. lawrence , influenced her into pub- discovers, it discovers as the beautiful. beauty is
lishing “signature” (3 issues). met cechov, woolf the last triumph for man who can no longer hope.
(who admired her beauty).
beauty is art. 1st novel d. defoe: robinson crusoe,
style: full of action, dramatic dialogue, inner mono- 1st anti-novel l. sterne: tristram shandy (digressive
logue, objectivity in observation of reality, symbolic principles). innovators: v. woolf: associative princimeanings. short novel collections: the garden party ple (about people’s thoughts), joyce, beckett.
english literature
theory of novel: a prose narrative of considerable
length, portraying chars and actions, representation
of real life in a continuous plot. belongs to epic
genres together w/romance, story, short story, fairy
tales, fable. types:
• adventure novel (defoe: robinson crusoe)
• satirical (swift: gulliver’s travels)
• epistolary (richardson: clarrisa)
• historical (scott: ivanhoe),
• gothic (shelley: frankenstein)
• picaresque (defoe: moll flanders),
• novel of manners (austin: pride and prejudice)
show their inside, by this eliminates the “human factor”.
eating people is wrong: stuart treece is a liberal
intellect, his credo is liberal accepting. his liberal
thinking makes him vulnerable. caricaturic chars:
student from nigeria, sent there by a terroristic org
whose aim is to free their nation from the brits. a
young writer who thinks he’s a rebel, on the other
hand thinks that women should stay home and serve
their husbands.
stepping westwards: a lecturer about d. h. lawrence
goes to usa to teach creative writing. his liberalism
gets in conflict w/the university establishment. satirical picture of am public officer, arrogant, egoist, local patriot.
from modernism to postmodernism
• autobiographical (wolfe: look homeward anrealism is a lit movement, the relationship between
the text and the depicted reality is felt to be direct
• biographical (maurois: ariel [about p. b. shel- and immediate. adoption of specific devices, formal
techniques for producing a sense of the real. a direct
imitation of the facts of reality, a special reconstruc• psychological (h. james),
tion of the facts of reality – mimesis. realistic: lifelike. a realist conforms to conventions for passing
• science-fiction (wells),
sthing off as real. realist texts create, not reflect reality, shape, not reflect our image of the real. not art
• antinovel (beckett),
but craft.
• anti-utopias, dystopia (orwell: 1984)
realist is generally applied to any lit that is true to
life. realists were acting against the unreal motives
novels rarely exist in their pure form, diff elements and exaggerations of romanticism (dickens, bronte,
are intermingled. even these novels can have their thackeray). attempts to give the illusion of ordinary
own types: stream of consciousness psych novel that life in which unexceptional people undergo everypresents inner thoughts of a char in an uneven end- day experience. setting is lower-middle class, proless stream. author attempts to record everything letarian, exact streetnames, localities, detailed dethat comes into the char’s mind w/o any selection. scriptions of places. accurate documentation. soc
(joyce: ulysses).
insight = a man is a soc being, objectivity. prefershort story is a work of prose fiction diff from the ring gloomy facts, accumulation of details, avoidnovel in dimension, poe: “it can be read at one sit- ance of poetic diction, exaggeration. lack of fantasy,
ting.” a story of an incident (tale), a story of a char triumph of observation over imagination. stress is
(slice of life), a twister.
on sense and experience. chars are round or flat. orcampus novel has a university campus as its set- dinary people presented as complex moralists, one
ting. majority of them were written by academics. solution, one closed-end. lang is trying not to draw
turns to a special audience which is able to value it. attention to itself, rather to the events presented.
mostly a satiric comedy w/parodical features.
diff connotations (a) realistic: true to life, (b) “truer”
m. bradbury – the history man sharp criticism of to life than other -isms. it is rooted in positivism (authe sexual revolution. howard kirk a sociologist, ca- gust conte), stressed human experience and belief all
reerist, radical (because it’s in fashion) is publishing knowledge comes from sensory impressions, a bebooks on the sexual revolution and proves it in prac- lief in positive achievements by using technology.
tice as well. but this causes a conflict in his ‘open’ modernist novel is a poetic meditation on existence.
marriage, his wife, barbara becomes a victim of this a novel should say only what a novel could say. barevolution. sexual relations are dehumanised. the nal everyday events, a broken mirror reflection. a
narrator looks at the chars from the outside, doesn’t narrow theme presented from a char’s point of view,
english literature
a not reliable narrator. time is subjective. associative principle (introduced by woolf ). digressive
principle of laurence stern: “charm of a novel is in
the interruption of the action.” fragmentation: we
have to construct the plot, perspectivism: reality can
be understood thru many perspectives, subjectivism:
eg time, in medias res: no intro, epistological.
postmodern novel: pluralism, coexistence of diff
styles, themes. phil of resignation, acceptance of
answers like “i don’t know, i don’t care.” subversion
of values, doubt love, marriage (more seduction than
love). non-fiction (close to journalism) and metafiction (fabulation). doubt about being original, popculture – no borders between high and low genre.
postmodernism post = (a) time sequence, after
modern, (b) contrastive to the poetics of modernism.
juxtaposition of diff words. leslie eiedler: cross the
border, close that gap pm’s contrastive features to
aesthetic dominant:
modernism – epistemological,
post-modernism – ontological.
history: very first mentioning after ww2 for lit
which did not comply with modernist principles. the
forms became exhausted and has come to a certain limit. old forms communicate with the new
one, in this communication all the creators who can
be called post-modern, keep something of modern
sensibility, some intention which distinguishes their
work from that of revivalist. whether this is irony,
parody, displacement, complexity, eclecticism, realism, or any number of contemporary tactics or
goals. certain tension and communication between
past and the presence, present and past are juxtaposed. present ironically illuminates past. certain
order which is created by tradition.
lit which is focused on words “words in the word,
words in the world”. multiple readership, the novel
is open (u. eco), because it constructs its form on diff
levels, can communicate with diff types of reader,
the term double coding is as well double.
adjective post-modern: (1) something that has the
attributes of post-modernism (work of art). (2) “condition” (francois lyotard) that we live in. it means
that there are two types of works:
1. a piece that is written in realistic technique,
however to certain extend may reflect on the
condition which is post-modern
2. pure post-modern works of art
post modern knowledge teaches us to tolerate the incommensurable and to refine our sensitivity to differences (mchale).
post modern knowledge, post-modern condition is
characterised by its incredulity of metanarratives
metanarrative: symbolising and totalising ideology
and the world explanations eg project of enlightenment, marxism, freudism. totalising conceptions
which are explaining the world.
now there is not a mirror, but non-reflective surface.
typical dichotomy of signifier and signified does not
exist, there is no signified.
simulacre is one of platho’s dialogues, speak about
the people who are trapped, imprisoned in a quail,
but they are turned by their backs to the entrance and
they can see just the reflections of the shadows and
they believe that it is a reality. our presence reality
is similar there are just reflections and original does
not exit.
general characterising – spy novel (which in its absence presents juxtaposition of two diff worlds and
we ask the question “je opravdu nekdo tim, kym se
jevi byt, co je opravdu skutecne a pravdive, co je
klam a nebezpeci?), blurring the line between fact
and fiction.
charles jenks: architect (1975), double-coding: “to
this day i would define post-modernism as i did it
in 1975 as double coding, the combination of modern techniques with something else, usually the traditional building in order for architecture to communicate with the public and a concerned minority, usually other architects” = multiple readership,
plurality. in his essay he marks the death of modernist architecture dated july 15th, 1970; 3:32pm,
when a building in minneapolis which was one of
those highlights of modernist architecture was demolished.
frederick jameson: pm as a result of logic, capitalism. instead of parody blank parody – pastiche.
post referring to the texts (joyce, faulkner). hard to
draw distinction between commercial and high lit.
defines modernism in more contextual terms, not
purely from phil and lit point of view, but putting
all those together with the terms of a context of a
intertextuality and past: post-modernist works no
longer quote such texts as joyce or mahler might
have done. they incorporate them to the point where
the line between high art and commercial forms
seems increasingly difficult to draw. instead of the
present text, rather parody the previous text, he uses
the term “blank parody”, pastiche.
english literature
jean baudrillard: french critic, said something similar like jameson about parody, pastiche.
male principle (active) female pr. (passive)
progress, tomorrow
postmodernism as high modernism or anti modernism?
roose: pm means moderner modern
kermode: pm is only the persistence of modernism
into 3rd and 4th generation
hassan: used the expression pm first in reference to
beckett’s prose (1971), originally taken from architecture.
barth: lit of exhaustion and replenishment (essay).
modernism was the lit of exhaustion, pm is of replenishment. modernism tried to express prchavost
chvile, vznesene pocity.
mchale on modernism vs postmodernism: diff between high art and low art institutionally still exist.
modernism used genres and models of low or popular lit, conrad’s adventurous novels, d. h. lawrence’s
features of pornography. the only diff between modernism and pm is that while modernism tried to disguise the genres of pop lit, pm openly accepts the
usage of pop techniques. pm novel is polyphonic,
an open arena of discourses, ideologies, styles. two
types of polyphony: (a) ideological, (b) stylistic.
j. fowles destroyed the border between popular
and intellectual lit by combining both techniques:
the french lieutenant’s woman: setting: victorian
golden era, charles smithson, gentleman, darwinist,
handsome and rich. engaged to ernestine freeman
(pretty, conventional, superficial). charles causes
scandal when breaking up their engagement after
falling in love w/sarah woodruff. the novel looks
back on year 1867 but from the view of 1967. the
author comments on the victorian age from his point
of view and wants to make sure we see the diff. uses
3 kinds of documents:
chars are prototypised, generalised. mrs. poulteney:
embodiment of vict prudency, hypocracy, false religiousness, caricature. instead of creating individual
chars he rather creates soc stereotypes. sarah does
not fit into this prototype, she is more of a mythological char as her pseudonym “tragedy” suggests.
4 diff endings:
1. a parody of happy endings, characteristic for
vict novels, charles marries ernestine
2. the author appears in the novel as the man in the
train w/moustache, he is thinking of an open
ending, rejects it
3. charles finds sarah in the house of dante g.
rosetti, painter, and they get together
4. finds her, but she doesn’t want to marry him,
even tough she has a child w/him.
the author activates the reader by offering possible
endings. the diff endings relate fiction and reality.
he is not interested only in what happened, but what
could have happened.
the collector: psychological thriller, frederic clegg
is a clerk, socially deprived, w/no education, can’t
behave. wants to belong to sbody. marriage is not
an option, he is sexually and emotionally impotent.
he kidnaps miranda grey, the only way to possess
sone. 1st part frederic tells the story, 2nd part miranda tells the story, 3rd part frederic finishes the
story. miranda is imprisoned but still she is above
frederic, gives commands to him. offers him marriage, her body. at the end she gets ill and dies because frederic is too coward to call a doctor.
a. burgess – novelist, critic, translator, composer.
earthly powers: an english writer living outside england. long, ambitious first person novel, real and
fictitious chars. set in italy, france, usa, malaya. discourses: about a gay writer, the role of the catholic
church in contemporary soc.
a clockwork orange:1 the existence of evil in man
and in soc. a gang of hooligans in the focus, attacking anything that moves. break into the house of a
writer who is working on “clockwork orange”, beat
him, rape his wife, who dies. alex, their leader is
betrayed by his mates and gets into prison. to get
1. docs that help to understand phil, eco, scientific
out as fast as possible he agrees to undergo a spetendencies of that age – marx’s works
cial treatment which means that he feels physically
2. citations from writers: austen, hardy, tennyson sick even at the thought of violence. a side effect of
the treatment is that he can’t listen to beethoven any3. docs from soc, psych, soc facts: women’s
more (he liked it very much). moral ambiguity: can
clothing, erotic life, prostitution, pre-marriage
1 oh, yes, my brothers. . .
sex amongst lower classes
english literature
good exist w/o evil? utopist features in the novel.
the way the state is fighting evil is worse than committing the crime itself. the lang is special, mix of
russian and english (ww3?). excellent playfulness.
the novel has 3 parts and 21(limit of being a grownup) chapters, each part = 7 chapters. readers are “my
brothers” for the narrator. naturalistic description of
wilson – the old men at the zoo: dystopia, political satire. formally it was put to the future. there
is a war between england and the european alliance,
also there’s a civil war in england between patriots
and unieuropeans. setting is the zoo, where old men
quarrel about the future of the zoo. some want to
change it into a reservation, others keep it zoo. narrator is simon carter, secretary of the zoo, at the beginning almost omniescent. he neglects his wife and
children because of the zoo. later he’s becoming less
and less reliable and more modern. violence: hungry crowds march into the zoo to find meat. one of
the directors’ daughter (harriet) is found dead in the
forest, murdered, sexually violated by her dog. the
novel ends well, the order is reestablished.
a. huxley – brave new world: satirised wellsian
utopia, if man became completely happy and soc
completely efficient, he would cease to be human.
after 9 yrs of war and the big economic collapse the
whole world is under the control of the world-state.
this is in the 7th cent of the new chronology. this
world-state is divided into casts and everybody is
happy. a reproduction centre in london: human life
begins under microscopes by artificial conception.
embryos are divided into alphas and betas (higher
class) and gammas and deltas (lower class). many
twins are made from one cell (clones), they are less
intelligent, smaller, but good workers. pavlov’s conditioning room: can create hatred in children towards books, flowers, anything. another room for
teaching moral rules to alphas by hypnosis. bernard
marx is an alpha but unhappy. he flies w/lenine to
the savage world, like a reservation, where people
live the old way (tribe). they meet here john, and
discover that he is the son of the director of the centre. he came here when young w/his lover linda,
who got lost here. john goes to the new world, but
doesn’t like it “i want to have the right to be unhappy,” in the end hangs himself. in the new world
shakespeare is not read, god believed in, happiness
is achieved by taking some pills, no families.
william shakespeare
(1564-1616) born in stratford upon avon. words are
all important – the sound and the meaning, verbal
genius lies in lyric, musical one. wrote, acted, shareholder of the Globe theatre. collaborated w/other
authors, took occasionally some existing play (such
as hamlet by kyd) and re-fashioned it. this was more
typical than invention of new plays. poetic works
venus and adonis, the rape of lucrece, sonnets.
the comedy of errors: its plot depends on the likeliness of twins and the likeliness of their twin servants.
a midsummer night’s dream: mad sunlight or moonlight, diff stories are mixed together w/great skill.
the feelings of lovers are not tiring the audience, because sthing funny always interrupts them.
the merchant of venice: antonio, a merchant borrows money from shylock to help his friend bassanio, who wants to marry the rich and beautiful
portia. shylock hates antonio and only agrees to
lend the money under the condition that if not paid
back on time, antonio shall pay w/a pound of his
own flesh. antonio’s ships sink and he cannot pay.
the case is taken to court where portia dressed as a
lawyer helps antonio. she says shylock may have
his flesh but w/o blood, nothing about blood in the
agreement, antonio is saved.
as you like it: a good duke living in the forest of
arden because his evil brother has driven him out of
his country.
much ado about nothing: well balanced comedy
w/good speeches. based on love-affairs, including
a dark side. a selfish young man who brings sorrow
to others is repeated in the even darker comedy all’s
well that ends well.
twelfth night: has been called the perfection of english comedy, whole play is alive w/humour and
action. the duke orsino believes that he is in love
w/lady olivia, but he is more in love w/love. twins
make some confusions. 2 knights provide amusement w/their foolish plans and their drinking.
taming of the shrew: christopher shy is a victim of a
joke that makes him believe that he is a lord who has
lost his memory and the interlude of wife-taming is
presented before him.
love’s labours lost, two gentleman of verona: central theme is love, harmony, happy endings, heroines are brave and noble, often rude, free in speech.
fairy-tale like settings, chars are real, conflict between nature and nurture(vychova). themes: 1. love
english literature
– initiation to marriage, 2. cohesion of the family,
3. marriage – harmony – state. festivity, celebration,
magic, youth, life, games, . . .
history plays
henry viii, henry vi (3 parts), richard iii, king john.
henry iv: prince henry wastes hours drinking and
joking w/falstaff (ugly, fat, old). when henry becomes king falstaff expects him to be given a position of honour by his old companion. but as king he
can’t have a fat old knight as a companion. falstaff is
heart-broken, henry offers him some money. henry
loves england more than falstaff.
henry v: filled w/love of country and spirit of war
(falstaff is absent).
the winter’s tale, the tempest: chars: prospero, miranda, ariel, caliban. theme: magical power, unity
of time, reconciliation. prospero had to leave milan
because his brother took the throne. 2 spirits lived
w/prospero on an island: caliban ugly, bad, jealous, and ariel beautiful, good. caliban fell in love
w/miranda. prospero tames the spirits and gains the
throne of milan.
titus andronicus, julius caesar, coriolanus
othello: brave moorish commander in cyprus who
has a beautiful wife: desdemona. iago, an old soldier tries to convince othello that desdemona is unfaithful, lover called cassio. othello kills her.
macbeth: 3 witches tell macbeth he’s gonna receive
high honours and become king. after receiving the
high honours, he helps fate to become king on his
wife’s pressure. his son brings army to punish him.
king lear: an old king thrown out of his home by his
2 daughters and treated so badly that he goes mad
and dies. lear’s fault is openness to flattery, he gives
all to wicked daughters and nothing to the 3rd one,
who speaks the truth but loves him the most.
anthony and cleopatra: anthony’s love towards the
egyptian queen cleopatra. anthony comes back
to rome, marries octavius caesar’s sister octavia.
cleopatra is jealous, anthony returns to her. octavius
defeats him at alexandria. anthony commits suicide
after hearing that cleopatra is dead, but she is not.
she then takes her life by allowing a snake to bite
romeo and juliet: lyric tragedy, young lovers on
background of 2 fighting families (monteo’s, capulet’s).
hamlet: tragedy set in denmark 12nd cnt. positive chars: horatio, ophelia, ghost, players, neu-
tral: hamlet, queen, laertes, polonius(?), negative:
hamlet is well educated, very intelligent, pretended
to be mad, lived for honesty. he is sent by claudius
to england to be killed. finds out that his father was
killed by claudius and gertrude agreed to marry him.
hamlet wants to prove this, asks his mother not to
live w/claudius. “have you eyes, mother to change
this to this?” (showing the picture of the two kings)
“your words are like daggers to my heart”. play in
play – hamlet asks some actors to play the murder
to see claudius’ reaction. hamlet has 2 weapons:
sword, madness.
renaissance theatre
war of roses (yorks vs lancasters) lancasters won,
king is henry vii. then came henry viii, head of
protestant church, so he could divorce (w/o the
pope’s support). reign of “bloody mary”, after
that queen elisabeth. greatest achievement of elisabethian lit is drama, dramatically spoken english
(richness and flexibility). many dramas were written for private performances. women’s parts played
by boys. 1576: 1st public theatre in london.
attitude to audience: the concern on sounds is connected w/the ears of the audience perceiving the
play. socially mixed audience, establishing intimacy
– bring them into the play. audience were all around
the stage’s 3 parts, some of them even sat on it. actors had to make contact w/them. mixed audience
= mixed needs – blood, action, fine phrases, debates
for scholars, humour, love story, song and dance. the
queen was the patron of drama, regular guest at inns
of court.
early elizabethian drama: great influence of seneca tragedies. first publicly successful play is the
spanish tragedy by thomas kyd, a murder of horatio
who is in love w/beliperia[sic]. he is killed by agents
of his rival. horatio’s father, hieronimo spends the
rest of the play contriving revenge. he rather talks,
delays (like hamlet) than acts, and again uses a play
about the murder. the play ends in horrors – murder,
suicide and hieronimo’s performing a horrific act –
biting his own tongue out and spits it on the stage.
we regard kyd as the father of “revenge tragedy”.
john lyly – 1st polite comic dramatist. started as a
novel writer called ‘eupheus’ w/lots of alliteration,
the flowery style since that is called ‘euphemistic’.
Endymion: love affair between the moon and a mortal.
robert greene was the last pre-shakespearean writer
of comedies. best known play friar bacon and friar
english literature
bungay magical powers of 2 friars, who produce a
kind of tv set and create a brazen head that tells the
secrets of the universe.
the tragedians known as the “university wits” (graduates of oxford or cambridge). their plays were tied
to the theatres of london. wandering groups of players played on inn-yards. if having a good audience,
they played daily at the same place.
elizabethan theatre: 4 sides are set in a large yard,
the stage at one end – tiers of galleries – viewing
places for the “better sort” common people stand in
the yard. the first theatre names were inn names: the
black bull, the rose, the swan. actors were banned to
play in the city.
james burbage built a theatre outside the city, far
from the play-hating council, the theatre, soon others followed the curtain, the rose. shakespeare’s the
globe was built 1598 out of the old the theatre.
2 great companies: 1. the lord chamberlain’s later
king’s men (the globe), 2. the lord admiral’s (fortune). 2 most wanted actors: 1. richard burbage,
son of james burbage (the globe), 2. edward alleyn
christopher marlowe was the greatest playwright
of the public until shakespeare. died young (stabbed
at 29). his heroes are autoprojections, he was very
subjective. edward ii, the massacre at paris.
dido, the queen of carthage: poetically great, as a
play weak, it was written and played for the noble
audience, long epic passages.
tamburlaine: more dynamic, dramatic, keeping the
audience alive, 1. part: tamburlaine achieves the persian throne, then defeats the turkish sultan and imprisons him w/his wife in a cage till they both beat
their brains against the bars. then he gains damask
and marries his love zenocrate. 2. part: he continues
expanding lands, his love dies in a burning house.
the jew of malta: tragedy, barabbas, a char of the
bible, thief, murderer. the criticism of christianity,
ideology. he refuses to give up his religion and pay
the tax to the maltesian knights, for the soldan, so
he looses all his property. revenge: poisons 2 lovers
of his daughter (son of maltian governor and a christian boy) and poisons her as well with a monastery
of nuns. he is caught and sentenced to death, but
escapes to the turkish side, but he’s defeated by the
christians. he falls in his own trap – a hot bowl of
water and till his last breath curses both “christian
dogs and turkish infidels!”
doctor faustus: his greatest play, story of a learned
man, master of all art + science, finds nothing more
to study and turns to the supernatural. he conjures
up mephistopheles, lucifer’s servant, and obtains 24
years of absolute power and pleasure in exchange
for his soul. faustus makes most of his time, at the
end he’s waiting for the devil to take him to the hell.
ben johnson did not like shakespeare or his plays.
he was a classicist, had rules and dramatic theory, for him masters were the ancient ones and his
plays were composed on ancient patterns, obeyed
the rule of unity: the scene never moves from
its initial setting, the action takes less then a day.
chars are simple and combinations of 4 elements:
humour(sangvinic), choleric, phlegmatic, melancholic, if mixed give diff human types, but never
change. makes comedy of his own period, own
space(london) – “realist”.
well known comedies: velpone, alchemist, both
have the same theme: the rogue + assistant get rich
and fat cause of the stupid.
velpone: an old fox, pretends to be very rich and
very ill, lying on his ‘death-bed’.
alchemist: 2 rogues who pretend to have discovered
how to turn metal into gold. series of comic situations.
other dramatists: beaumont, john fletcher, they
worked together, achieved a common style: the king
of the burning pastle. webster: the white devil,
george chapman.
british post-war drama
in war-years only the commercial theatre old vic in
london. plays: t. rattigam: drawing room, ch. fry:
venus observed, the dark is light enough, t. s. eliot:
the cocktail party. after the war old vic established
a theatre school, later called young vic.
1956: an english stage company was established,
the royal court theatre in london. experimental new
theatre, new realism, angry theatre (comments on
current political, cultural issues), the group of “angry young men” (osborne).
john osborne – major figure of post-1956 drama.
the entertainer: about the dying british music hall,
char cannot make a relationship.
look back in anger: kitchen-sink drama. theme:
frustration of british young generation after the war,
nostalgia and anger about the past. disillusions of
the presence, power relations in the marriage, emotional, intellectual and communicative gap between
men and women. attack on the conventions of middle class. emotions of spiritual emptiness, loss, personal fears and insecurity, lack of hope, class struggle reflected as sex struggle. strengths of the play:
provocation, anger in the audience, between classes
english literature
and generations. weakness: deficiency in char building, jimmy is the only one who can speak, self-pity
of the main protagonist, sentimental ending, following the formula of melodrama. setting: a room in
the attic, realistic, northern city in england. structure: 3 acts, melodrama, letters, time chronology,
family relations. chars: jimmy: central char, a disappointed man, thinks only of himself, afraid of his
wife, but attacks her mentally, not brave enough to
face the truth, paralysed by his own anger, aggressive, well-read, anti-hero, lonely. alison: jimmy’s
wife, a woman in love and in the household, she
does everything what jimmy says and wants, her aim
is to serve the man, keep the household, silent, no response to the attacks, afraid, even to tell she is pregnant. cliff: jimmy’s best friend, lives w/them, kind
of peacemaker, welsh, makes tea all the time. helen
alison’s best friend, young middle-class woman, at
the end she stays in place of alison in the household,
but when she comes back she moves away.
h. pinter – typical structure of a play: 1 act, 2 people talking senselessly, one of them leaves. his lang
is milder than beckett’s, comic that often changes
to tragic. everyday situations that gradually reveals
s/thing mysterious, unexplainable, unrevealed, ambiguous, background information. the dumb waiter,
old times, no man’s land.
the birthday party: setting 1 room, 1 day. stanley
does nothing all day just sits in his room. later a jewish and an irish priest enter and attack him w/words.
they made him a birthday party and w/this they beat
him down. it is about existential anxiety, for stanley
the room is the only safe place, everything around is
horror. philosophy of absurdity.
1960: 2 companies: national theatre, the royal
shakespeare company: avant-garde troupe, new productions of shakespeare and contemporary writers/directors (peter hall, peter brook). famous for
its innovative techniques and wide ranging repertoire. the national theatre became a powerful rival(laurence olivier). england was one of the last
european countries to establish a national theatre.
t. stoppard – comic mood, surprising, imaginative,
stage effects. jumpers, travesties, hapgood, the real
rosencrantz and guildenstern are dead: setting:
where are we? on hamlet (road, elsinor, ship).
theme: irrational barbarity and weirdness, the protagonists are killed w/o understanding about the life
which they have been part of. subject-matter: one
aspect of communism: not seeing corruption, losing chance to change sthing. chars: 2 clowns lost
in madhouse or featureless desert. rosencrantz +
guildenstern are grotesque clowns, w/o a sense of
purpose and w/o the courage, energy and wit to force
one for themselves. their memory is not reliable,
they can’t orient themselves and they are unsure of
who they are. they want sthing to happen, sbody
to come and tell them information, provide direction or meaning. they are cowards: don’t change the
play even when they have the chance (verbal tennis game). they simply disappear, it doesn’t matter
whether they come back or not, they were dead wile
alive. element of friendship, they need each other.
hamlet: passive, in the background char. players:
dolls, they practise to play, don’t have an audience
what is a tragedy for them. the player king: someone who can bring a sense to what we find as order
in art, he gets annoyed when r.+g. don’t want to be
their audience. style: formal, vulgar, colloquial, absurd – lack of logic. sources: beckett: waiting for
godot, shakespeare: hamlet, eliot: the love song of
j. alfred prufrock.
theatre of absurd: protagonists in a world they
cannot understand, w/o meaning, featureless. confusion – the absence of anything that might help
to understand. protagonists like clowns lost in a
madhouse (absurd) or featureless desert (existential). w/o sense of purpose, courage, energy, unsure
of who they are, they wait for sthing for happen, but
since the world is absurd, the play ends as it started.
questions pass the time – they have no point but keep
the game.
came to england from france, the term 1st used in
1880s by hubertine auclert, founder of 1st woman
sufferage soc in france. a political movement, a personal perspective, theory + criticism: showalter’s
study: toward a feminist poetics:
1. critique of male writing – negative images of
woman char
2. establishing female lit tradition, re-evaluation
of women writers gynocritics, “woman as a
3. questioning gender diff – male vs female writing: masculine as “naming”, feminine as nonrational
types of feminism:
• black: emphasises commitment to struggle against racial, sexual, heterosexual and class
oppression. origin: the hist reality of afroamerican women
english literature
• cultural: (lesbian / radical / separatist) associated w/a strategy of women sharing intimacy
w/women, communities of women who form
strong lifelong relationships w/other women
but aren’t lesbians
• existentionalist: based on the phil notions of
“being-in-itself” and “being-for-itself”
• liberal: based on liberal democratic principles
of equality, liberty, justice
• marxist: women’s oppression is the product of
pol, soc, eco structures associated w/capitalism
and rooted in the material needs
• modernist: women cannot be liberated unless
they throw off traditional notions of masculinity and feminity and acquire a new notion of
de-gendered humanity
• socialist: a response to the challenge of radical
feminism: not essentially a fight against men,
rejected separatism, wanted to gain the support
of working class woman and also male support.
a feminist is someone who holds that women suffer discrimination because of their sex, and that they
have specific needs which remain negated or unsatisfied and the satisfaction would require a radical
change in the soc, eco and pol order. a lifestyle
(dress, behaviour), a perspective (gender – most important case).
feminist criticism
virginia woolf – (fought for right to vote) in her
novels dedicated to women she presents ideal female char. in her critical essays she considers the
fact that women suffer oppression, no proper education, and “a room of their own”. shakespeare’s sister. a room of ones own, you(parents) needn’t give
me money, i can make it by my pen.
firestone – the dialectic of sex: man vs woman in relation of reproduction, separatist, women should be
independent from men (artificial reproduction, birth
e. aston – feminist theatre voices: silencing women’s contribution, equal pay, education, opportunity, free abortion, critique of beautiful body – pressure on women to be slim.
a. rich – when we’re dead awaken: searching for
identity, conflicts whether to be a house-wife or ambitious.
a. showalter – towards feminist poetics: in the past
women were sold at fairs like horses, had passive
roles, patriarchal soc didn’t sell their sons. gynocriticism. a man’s life is his work, a woman’s is her
kate millett – sexual politics: (1969) used the term
‘politics’ to refer to power-structured relationships,
arrangements whereby one group of persons is governed by another, whereas ‘sexual politics’ is a potential oppression of one sex by another. unspoken
assumptions such as woman are intellectually inferior, emotional rather than rational, primitive and
childlike, more sensually and sexually oriented.
simon de beavouir – the second sex: women are
defined in the reference to a man, not vice verse,
examines women from biological, psychoanalytical
point of view.
helene cixous, julia kristewa – french feminists,
critique of the very nature of female subjectivity and
the lang thru which it is symbolised, they argue that
lang suppresses what is feminine. kristewa lived
in paris, influential post struct. critic, intertextuality
= every text echoes some other texts, suggested 3
fields of lit feminism:
1. re-reading of classical feminist texts and discovering new good texts written by women
2. re-reading of male texts about women and reconsidering the way they had been treated
3. creating feminine aesthetics at a specific lang
for women’s writing
c. churchill – cloud nine: the body as a critical
sight of “gender representation.” 2 acts, act1: colonial setting, act2: chars from act1 are set in london (1979) 100 yrs after, but in their lives only 25
yrs passed. theme: farcical heterosexual marriage
ceremony – cure for homosexuality. harry(gay) +
ellen(lesbian) – they have to be corrected. crossgender and cross-racial casting and doubling of
roles. ellen’s homosexuality is invisible, only in act2
gets visible. author displaced female pleasure by
male fantasy of female sexuality.
top girls: act1: restaurant, saturday night, marlene
hosts a party, her promotion, guests are 5 women
from the past: isabelle bird (daughter of a clergyman), lady nijo (travelled a lot, lost 4 children),
dull gret (silent[from the brueghel painting]), pope
joan (christian, at 12 left home, dresses like boys),
griselda (hist char, known for her extraordinary marriage, patience, obedience to her husband). overlapping dialogs, doubling (gender shifting), time shifting.
english literature
susan byatt – went to cambridge, still life, the game,
shadow of a sun, degrees of freedom.
possession: a romance and campus novel, 3 layers, 3 couples in love: contemporary (roland +
maud, lit critics), mythological (knight + melusine[fairy]), victorian (randolf ash + christabel lamote[mistress]). roland studying the book “science
nova” finds an unsent love letter written by randolf
ash to an enigmatic secret lady, later founds out that
the lady is a poet who was impressed by a fairy –
melusine and tried to rewrite her myth. melusine
marries a french knight, mortal, to get a soul. had
many sons (physically defected). the knight was not
allowed to look at her saturdays when bathing. once
he broke his promise and found out that the fairy
is half-fish half-woman, when he opened the door,
she turned into a dragon and flew away. mysterious
woman – diff shapes, faces. melusine as archetype
of loving mother and a monster. later roland is peeping whether the bath is free, maud opens the door in
a gown of a dragon and falls down. serious becomes
funny (parody).
ch. b. rose – between, thru. textermination: complex, to be read by educated. intertextuality is dominant, her prose is lang about lang, creates imaginative reality constructed by lang. austen’s emma
meets goethe, his speech is in german, other famous
people appear – homer, hamlet dressed as laurence
olivier. they all go to conference dedicated to the
implied reader. they complain that they are not read.
phil base of the novel: the mind of a modern man is
constructed of many texts.
angela carter – modern version of gothic novels,
tales, myths, legends. bloody chamber and other
stories, little red riding hood: the wolf makes her
his lover. the magic toyshop, heroes and villains,
the passion of new eve, fireworks, nights at the
circus. novels show preoccupation w/the frankly
erotic, with the sadistic linking of sex and pain,
struggles for master between powerful individual
and vulnerable. frequent motif is the erotic initiation of an innocent girl in the nightmarish world.
fay weldon – negative relationship w/man, woman,
children. rising feminist consciousness, tragicomic.
novels: the fat woman’s joke, the hearts and lives of
men, remember me, down among the women, female
friends, praxis.
the life and lovers of a she devil: experimenting
(playfulness, irony, sarcasm, cool tone), internal
perspective (stories within stories), tragicomic style.
ruth is unattractive, ugly, fat. bob is her husband, is
in love w/an attractive, rich woman mary fisher, who
writes love novels. she leaves husband, children and
plans revenge. repetition and overproductivity.
iris murdoch – studied phil, lectured at oxford.
influenced by french existentionalists, complicated
plots, caused by unpredictable powers, fantastic or
horror events. questions of personal and political
freedom, creativity, religious belief. there’s always a
manipulator, egoist, cruel intellectual, studies about
evil. the bell, the black prince, a word child, the
philosopher’s pupils.
fairly honourable defeat: about human goodness,
the sceptic scientist julius king makes a deal w/his
ex-lover morgan that he can separate a loving couple in 3 weeks, the victims: simon and alex, a homosexual pair. a husband-wife pair rupert and hilda
love each other. king writes a letter to rupert in morgan’s name, that she loves him. rupert and morgan
become lovers, later rupert commits suicide. a romantic, dramatic story, arises ethical, phil questions.
realistic char in an artificial model.
the book and the brotherhood: david crimond wants
to re-value the history of ancient and modern phil,
ethics, morality, religion. his friends found a brotherhood to support him financially. one level of the
novel shows discussions on phil topics w/his friends.
another one shows complicated relations, love triangles. gulliver ash represents true morality, a humble,
everyday man, he is put in contrast w/crimond.
against dryness: critical essay explaining her aesthetics of the novel. two types of prose: 1st crystal clear – aesthetically crystallised prose form, 2nd
journalistic prose – shows the chaotic human experience w/o clear form. she suggests writers to write
about concrete, individual human exp. her key term
is contingency that can be chaotic and unpredictable.
the writer’s aims should not be to reduce the rich human exp and force it into an organised form, but to
reflect it unreduced in its richness. art is incomplete
because reality is incomplete.
the sea, the sea: the sea appears as a char, desc of the
sea are very important. charles (old) goes to a seaside resort and meets his first love (old, ugly, married). charles’ reflections about his loves in the past,
happiness when being innocent.
under the net: we see a group of rootless chars and
their adventures around london in 1950s. 2 main
chars are sisters actresses, who are not certain what
is behind the various roles they create. they try to
avoid the “nets” and preserve their independence
and existential freedom.
m. spark – links the traditional pattern w/experiments, ironic, satiric story from the middle class,
english literature
behind the everyday reality hides supernatural. a
catholic writer. not to disturb: everything that happens, happens in the minds of the chars, servants in
swiss castle know that their mister/mistress die and
commit suicide before this happens. the hothouse by
the east river: the chars live in the 1970s but as we
get to know they all had died in 1944 in an air raid.
loitering with intent, the only problem: the problematics of evil. the book of job: christian questions are
dealt w/how can the creator let there be so much suffering. black madonna.
d. lessing – relationship between black/white people, emancipation of women who has fought against
deeply rooted prejudice. the grass is singing: a
white farmer’s wife and a black servant, children of
violence: bildungsroman in 5 parts: martha quest,
a proper marriage, a ripple from the storm, landlocked, the four gates city phil of socialism and communism, searching for mystical id. retreat to innocence, the golden notebook: the narrator ann wulf
from her diaries about politics, human relationship.
briefing for a desert into hell, the memoirs of a survivor: the story of the city which was attacked by
no closer defined catastrophe. the city is paralysed,
people try to stay alive. in the end the people in the
house come out. sci-fi on soc problematics.
romanticism vs classicism
classicism (18th cnt) age of reason, rationalism. civilised, modern, educated. life in towns, urban
soc. poetry: public themes, formal correctness. the
ideal of order. based on conventions represented
as conventional chars under conventional circumstances. based on the phil of art associated w/the ancient greeks and romans. typical qualities: balance,
self-control, formal elegance, dominance of reason,
unity of design and purpose, clarity, simplicity, respect for tradition, strictly following rules. dryden,
a. pope, s. johnson. genres: epistles, epitaphs, epigrams, ode, occasional verse.
a. pope – greatest of his period, accepted world as
it was, participated in soc life. “the singer of order
in the universe and of order in soc.” ode to solitude,
pastorals, essay on criticism, essay on man, the rape
of the lock, epistles and satires, imitation of horace.
correctness in lit composition, phrases, lines bordering w/perfection.
pre-romanticism 2nd half of the 18th cnt. interest in folklore, longing for mysterious. shakespeare,
spencer, milton who were disregarded by classicism
were highly appreciated again. sentimentality towards nature, looking for spiritual powers, inter-
est in history, lands never touched by civilisation.
period of industrial revolution, rising of the middle class, new soc group – proletarianists. international events: the french revolution, the american war of independence, napoleonic war. individualism, imagination – a reaction against formality
of classicism. authors are idealists: create worlds,
dream vs reality (their world vs this world). r. burns,
w. blake.
r. burns was a rebel, wrote in scottish dialect,
themes: protest against soc injustice, emphasise values of a simple man (who is not a passive viewer
of nature’s beauty but changes it by his work). to
a mouse: tragic life, unsure peasants. other works
include nature lyrics, epic poems, also based on real
events and chars: the jolly beggars: anarchic individualism. the poet is walking next to beggars who
are laughing and singing. he is caught in their vitality, life strength and mood. soc satire holy willie’s
prayer: hypocrisy and moralising amongst scottish
calvinist puritans. love lyrics: jamie, jeanie’s bosom
and come, try me. burns got deeply in thoughts and
feelings of young men and women, expressed them
w/great tenderness. inspired by popular song and
folklore, homely lang, sympathy w/the outcasts and
the lonely, attraction to plain man.
w. blake – pre-romantic, quite diff from burns. ignored in his times, called “mad.” ‘too’ original, diff.
simple minded as a man and as a poet. lived his
life on the edge of poverty, died in neglect. also a
painter and engraver. he had eidetic visions common
to children, but he had them all his life, some state
between dream and waking up. rejected reason, law
and conventions. invented illuminated technique for
publishing his books. tried to express the inexpressible, his poetry very difficult to understand. his early
work is easier. collection poetical sketches: based
on pastiche (imitation of elizabethan poets, imitation of folk tales). french revolution: an attempt for
epic poetry, not finished.
songs of innocence: the renaissance of wonder. expresses joy of life, the purity of childhood, close relation of man w/nature. part 1: infant joy – infancy,
joy, childhood, monologue of a new born baby, beginning of life seen as joyful. part 2: infant sorrow –
insecurity, uncertainty, suffering, helplessness, anxiety. the lamb vs the tiger.
songs of experience: social experience, more serious, gloomy, dark dimensions of life, man being
blinded by church, army, factories, marriage.
the marriage of heaven and hell: prose work, phil
and humour are mixed together, satire of conventional morals () and religion (dogmas). opinions about
english literature
a soc revolution, and against religious doctrines.
people should free their energy so that they could
fully start knowing of a world and themselves, create a new soc.
prophetic books: very famous, elaborates cosmic
myths, tried to express his own phil composition.
fight between conflicting forces: reason vs imagination.
1. america: a prophecy
2. europe: a prophecy
3. book of urizen (blake’s version of the book of
4. book of ahania (kind of exodus that follows
5. the book of los
6. the song of los
3 main chars:
1. orc: principle of energy, rebellion, eternal delight, energy can be destructive (bad) and creative (good)
2. los: imagination, creation
3. urizen: principle of reason (restriction), tyranny of reason
christianising mythology and mythologising christianity.
romanticism is a lit movement, reaction to the age
of reason (enlightenment, classicism). the way to
know the world is not reason, but intuitions, primal power of the wild landscape, spiritual correspondence between man and nature, man is bound
to nature. extreme assertion of the self, individualism. creating new landscapes (non-existent castles in switzerland). poetry: private, personal, subjective themes. originality in all levels, discovery
of beauty (“that is truth” keats). ideal of freedom.
search for self-identity. using poetic lang in everyday life. mixture of artistic fields (poetry + music
+ painting). idealising middle age and orient countries, recovering antic cults (helenism), lake poets:
coleridge, wordsworth, fiction: scott, young generation: byron, shelley, keats. victorians: tennyson,
browning, morriss (cooling down). genres: songs,
ballads, sonnets, narrative poems, love songs / poems.
lake poets – lyrical ballads: 1st collection of romantic poems by wordsworth and coleridge. contained a preface which is the basis for the manifest of romanticism, against poetic diction (stylised
classicist poetry w/its rational content) and a justification of a turn to natural speech. poet being a
‘prophet’ a tremendous responsibility, giving life its
w. wordsworth – born in the lake district. function
of poetry and poetic style: to choose events and situations from the life of simple, nature people, and
to express oneself by their naturelanguage, enriched
by fantasy and emotions. wanted to transmit borders between life and death. nature is a resource
of the dearest thoughts, caretaker, leader of heart,
soul, moral law, resource of creativity. interested in
soc problems (disappointment from the revolution).
he was a pantheist, natural universe = god, god is
over everything and possesses a distinct personality. in nature resides god. man and nature becomes
fused. form: reflexive nature lyric either rhymed or
in blank verses. heroes of his narrative poems are
everyday people, children unspoilt by education, incorrupted by the world.
michael, a pastoral poem; the solitary reaper, the
prelude: childhood experience, autobiographical,
the excursion: religious essays, the middle part of a
great phil work, not finished. filled w/love of nature,
imagination led beyond the life and thoughts.
ode on intimations of immortality: faith in memories
of childhood. as going to a life w/o end, we came
from another life.
t. s. coleridge – return to the magical, mysterious,
supernatural. good friend of wordsworth. took
opium, poems from opium dreams. the eolian harp:
about man and woman, symbols of innocence and
love, wisdom, beauty, harmony.
the rime of ancient mariner: (1st published in lyrical ballads). archaisms, symbols. ballad structure. theme of evil that people commit w/o reason. a mariner kills an albatross (symbol of nature’s beauty) w/o reason, commits a sin, tormented
w/the most frightening visions, all of which are presented in the style and metre of old ballads, but w/far
greater imagination and imagery. his heart is filled
w/love of god’s creatures. he is partially excused.
story in a story: he is telling his story on a wedding.
christabel: unfinished lyrical ballad in verses about
2 girls. geraldine, found in the woods by christabel,
claims to be the daughter of an old friend of christabel’s father. it is not true, at night she changes into
english literature
a snake (evil). lesbian motive, contrast of evil and
kublah khan: record of a narcist dream, strange and
magic picture. fantastic invocation of a sunny pleasure dome w/cave of ice.
biographia literaria: lit criticism, 2 layers: (a) about
the 2 williams: shakespeare and wordsworth, (b)
strange and unusual, tried to write about psychology
of creative process. the world is known thru reason
and understanding:
1. understanding is the conception of the senses,
help us to know science of phenomena, give us
the knowledge of the ordinary world
2. imagination (a) primary: bring order to the
chaos created by the senses, (b) poetic, an echo
of the former, it dissolves in order to recreate
3. reason helps to know god, soul, eternal truth,
guides towards ultimate spiritual truth
revolutionary romantics
j. keats a friend of shelley and byron – same antimonarchist and antichurch ideas. died at 25 in tuberculosis. his lit work spans 4 years therefore very
intensive in senses and ideas. most successful is his
3rd collection lamia, isabella, the eve of st. agnes,
and other poems. his odes are mixed w/2 inspirations: english nature and antique mythology. in
these odes he is not searching for inner view but obj
experience and knowledge. letters. simple themes:
beauty in the art and nature, the wish to die, happy
+ unhappy love, the glamour of class. past. awareness that beauty dies. ode to a nightingale, ode to a
grecian urn, ode to melancholy.
g. g. byron – (lord) childhood spent in scotland,
father alcoholic, mother hysteric. “the handsome
cynic”. influenced by the classical pope. poetry
tough, powerful, lacks fine poetic imaginary (his
words mean what they say, no further magic), selfcentred. his satires lack pope’s polished perfection.
melancholy, gloom, despair, cynicism, scepticism,
pessimism. he mixed up virtues w/vices (generosity – self-centredness, kindness – hatred, heroism –
rudeness). his 1st collection rejected by critics was
hour of idleness.
childe harold’s pilgrimage: autobiographical (he
travelled a lot, started writing about his travelling
experience when in albania). it is a romantic epos
in the spenserian stanza – his invention. a story
of a man who goes off to travel far because he is
disgusted w/life’s foolish pleasures. the diff places
give the poet opportunity to describe what once happened there. we know nothing of harold’s appearance, all attention is on his inner life, thoughts, feelings. conflict w/the soc and the whole world –
world-weariness. turkish themes in turkish tales, the
bride of abidos, more lyrical poems written before
his marriage hebrew melodies.
moved to italy, novel in verse, epic satire don juan.
humorous, elegant. strange adventures of a young
man who loves freedom. unfinished.
cain: phil-mystical drama, antireligious. rebelling
against any kind of authority.
p. b. shelley – a rebel against everything conventional, king, queen, trade, army, church, traditional
marriage. pamphlet the necessity of atheism. these
ideas were expressed in his 1st collection queen
mab. satirical political poems the mask of anarchy,
song to the men of england. believed in the freedom
of humankind – utopist. besides satire wrote natural
poems ode to the west wind and historical, mythical
poems prometheus unbound. his poetry is a passionate dream, reaching for the unreachable, desire for
s/thing abstract what we cannot have. idealised reality. 1st important poem alastor, or the spirit of solitude blank verse, wordsworth’s influence. joy in the
universe sorrow for the violent feelings of men. revolt of islam cry of impatience, cruelty of the world.
too long, the reader is dulled by too much lang, written in spenserian stanza.
naturalism – trying to be as real as possible. a
type of realistic fiction developed in france, america,
england in the late 19th and early 20th cnt. presupposes that human beings are like puppets controlled
completely by external and internal forces of nature.
rooted in darwinism, applies darwin’s theory to human soc (strongest one survives, not the cleverest
one), leads to pessimism. emile zola, dreiser: sister
carrie, american tragedy.
thomas hardy – lived a hectic life in london. atheism is his root of pessimism. in his novels nature is
important, indeed nature herself is a char. believes
that the past has built up a mass of conditions which
remain to influence people’s lives. blind chance as
an important factor. the best way of life is to accept
calmly the blows of fate. most of his chars struggle
against fate. poetry: over 1000 poems and a long
drama in verse. dynasty: a vast, un-actable drama
meant to be presented on the stage of the reader’s
own imagination, dealing w/the napoleonic wars as
seen by not only men but the immortal fates.
tess of d’ubervilles: a poor girl whose misfortunes
are so great that in the end she murders a man and
is hanged. when she learns that she is descendant of
english literature
an ancient family, the d’ubervilles, she goes there in
hope of work. as a maid she is seduced by her cousin
alec, gets pregnant. she comes home, the baby is
weak and dies. she has to leave home, goes to a
dairy farm where meets angel clare son of a protestant priest. they get married. he tells her about his
young love to an older woman which lasted a few
weeks. she tells him about alec, baby. he starts to
think, she is an aristocrat, not a woman of nature, finally leaves her under pressure of traditional morality. tess’ father dies, has to leave the house. meets
alec who has changed and helps her financially, seduces her again. angel comes back, tess tries to free
herself from the marriage w/alec, kills him. after a
few days of happiness w/angel she is hung.
jude the obscure: a poor stone worker who wants to
educate himself, but though he has a fine spirit, has
little control over his passions, and he does not learn
much. fate is against him. his marriage is a failure,
he falls in love w/a teacher. sorrow follows their life
together, their children die, then jude begins to drink
and dies unhappily.
a parody of the loyal penelope.
3 main parts as in the epos.
his family imprisoned because of his father’s debts.
worked in warehouse. wrote of low-life, was a
warm-blooded romantic, uneducated. his style is
grotesque, inelegant, but has a lively ear for rhythm
of speech of the uneducated. was not afraid of vulgarity or sentimentality. had a great gift for creativity, caricature, high spirited humour. his prose varies
in quality, nearly always readable. describes and attacks many kinds of unpleasant people and places
(bad schools, schoolmasters, government, departments, prisons). chars: thieves, murderers, men in
debt, stupid and unwashed men and women, hungry children, those who do their best to deceive the
honest. although many of his scenes are terribly unpleasant, he usually keeps the worst out of his books,
therefore the reader continues to read. sad situations
are too miserable to be true, he uses too much blackpaint, but he wanted to raise kindness and goodness
in the reader’s heart, used tears and laughter to reach
his aim.
pickwick club: published monthly. mr. pickwick
almost too kind to be true. employs the cheerful
sam weller to keep him out of trouble caused by his
own kindness or to comfort him w/words of wisdom
when the trouble has not been avoided. his friends
pretend to have qualities they have not. no real plot,
series of comic incidents.
hard times: soc novel, set in industrial surroundings
where children are brought up among hard facts and
w/o any help for the spirit. the son robs a bank,
james joyce
(1882-1941) born and raised in dublin, central in
his writing. studied to be a priest, jesuit schools,
university college of dublin, medicine in paris (not
finished). lived w/nora barnacle, married after their
grandson was born. in 1904 left ireland, travelled
a lot, trieste, zurich, died in paris. problems w/his
eyes, got almost blind. 2 children: giorgio (opera
singer), lucia (contracted scisphrenie, fell in love
w/beckett). spoke 15 european langs. 1904 june 16
his 1st date w/nora, now celebrated as bloomsday,
date when ulysses takes place.
ulysses was refused by 40 publishers before published in paris (1922). found obscene, in many countries abolished. prohibited in ireland till the 60s.
takes place in dublin. stephen daedalus young history teacher and writer, autobiographical. leopold
bloom middle class, middle aged dubliner of jewish origin. collects advertisements for a newspaper.
his wife is molly, an opera singer. their daughter is
milly. their son rudy died. he’d be 11. no physical contact w/his wife since rudy’s death. boylan is
molly’s current lover.
the novel is based on a parallel w/homer’s ulysses,
but also in contrast w/it. while homer’s hero experiences his adventures on the sea during 10 yrs,
joyce’s lasts only 1 day in dublin. bloom stands
for the modern ulysses, wandering in the streets of
dublin, stephen is his son telemachus, and molly is
1. telemachus: 3 chaps, where stephen (telemachus) is looking for his father
2. odyssey: 12 chaps, main part, wanderings of
stephen and bloom and their meeting
3. nostoc: 3 chaps, father bloom and son stephen
are returning home, where molly is waiting for
homer’s epos: the greeks won the trojan war, but
gods became angry w/ulysses and therefore didn’t
allow him to get home. he was kept on the sea
for 10 yrs, experiencing dangerous adventures. at
home thought him dead, only his son hoped. decides to find his father. when ulysses arrives home
he finds suitors for penelope’s hand. w/the help of
telemachus he kills all of them (disguised as an old
ch. dickens
english literature
daughter has unhappy marriage, the father starts to
understand his own foolishness.
oliver twist: the story of a poor orphan’s cruel treatment and miserable adventures, includes description
of hunger, stealing, murder, hanging.
a christmas carol: mr. scrooge is very rich but treats
his relatives quite bad. at christmas 3 ghosts show
him thru his past, present, future, including his funeral where nobody cries. he changes to the good.
david copperfield: autobiographical, 1st person narrator.
great expectations, little dorrit, the old curiosity
shop, martin chuzzlewit, our mutual friend, a tale
of two cities, nicholas nickleby.
american lit
american lit
conventions and revolt in poetry
e. a. poe – philosophy of composition: essay on how
to write a poem, principles of composition, his process of writing the raven:
i. effect: keeping originality
ii. extend: length, should be limited to a single
sitting. if any lit work is too long to be read at
one sitting it destroys the unity of impression,
totality. proper length of a poem ≈ 100 lines
iii. beauty: the effect of a poem is the most important, not meaning quality but intense and
pure elevation of soul and not of intellect, or
of heart. poem should evoke feeling, aesthetic poem. beauty is the atmosphere and the
essence of the poem, excitement, or pleasure
iv. tone: sadness, melancholy, topics include death of a beautiful woman, death as beauty
v. refrain: pleasure is deduced from sense of
identity of repetition, the best refrain is a simple
word forming the close of each stanza (nevermore keeps the melancholy)
,,the poem should be a rhythmical creation of
raven: the bird of ill omen. the main protagonist
is a student, lover. he is modelling his questions to
receive the expected answers. the storm chased a
raven into a student’s chamber. the noise it makes
makes the student believe his dead love is knocking on the door. these emotions, and the raven’s repeated nevermore evokes in the student a kind anxiety, fear, even though he knows it is just a word the
bird learned to utter.
w. whitman – established free verse in america,
rhythm is diff then in prose. usage of and to connect
longer lines, verse is extended, wanted to express
everything. urban life as new topic, introduction of
human soc in poetry, forbidden topics (sex, war, religion, homosexuality). considered himself to be a
representative of the human race. he was a pantheist, transcendental influence. life vs death, enjoying
everything, even death which is part of his life – beginning of a new circle – incarnation. great passion
for democracy. use of germanic expressions, roman
words (intellectual). leaves of grass: song of myself.
e. dickinson – poetry was the only important activity in her life, her vision was eccentric, variety
of imagery. expressing psych state of mind, special lang. unconventional punctuation, unfinished
sentences, clashes. characteristic figure metaphor,
subjective mood, uncertainty, unfinished action, her
doubt. her poems are built on paradox. more concerned w/words and mood than w/technique.
she never travelled anywhere. spiritualism, tried to
reach spiritual unity, transcendentalism. metaphysical aspects: love, life, death. nature was a part from
her. lot of doubt, about immortality. writing from
the perspective of death. topics: nature, despair,
fear, unconventional concept of time.
reaction against puritanism, natural way of behaviour. believed in diversity of individual soul,
based on nature, individual connection w/god (unitarians). sources from german phil: kant (god, freedom, immortality), english romantic writers: coleridge, wordsworth, oriental phil: emphasis on the
unity of the universe. r. w. emerson: phil, theoretician, henry thoreau: emerson’s principle in practice,
went to prison for anti-war activism.
r. w. emerson – nature (8 chaps):
1. nature: only few adults can see and feel nature in
their hearts, children are natural, innocent. a naturelover has a spirit of infancy even in the adulthood.
one can go to nature in any mood.
2. commodity: usefulness. nature works for the benefit of the people. provides sources.
3. beauty: delight, joy, pleasure. 3 aspects of beauty:
a. simple perception of natural forms (every part
of the year is special)
b. the presence of higher spiritual elements
c. security as an object of intellect
4. language:
a. words are signs of natural facts
b. every natural fact is a symbol of some spiritual
fact, nature is a visible part of spirit everything
c. nature is a symbol of a spirit
5. discipline: you can’t escape from nature, you
have to keep the rules of nature
6. idealism: man and nature are fused, seeing the
world in god
7. spirit: nature can’t exist w/o spirit, people = strangers in nature, everything they get is thru senses,
which are not objective, god is eternal–infinite
american lit
8. prospects: conclusion of the essay. the element magie, a girl of the street: a girl driven to prostituof spirit is eternity, when man becomes innocent life tion and death.
shall be immortal
t. dreiser – american tragedy: a factory worker
wants to get rich, soc + sexual threads.
5.3 symbol
sister carrie: carry leaves to poverty of home for
chicago, she is honest about her desire for better
mark, emblem, token, sign. an object which reprelife. moves from one relationship to other. becomes
sent or stands for s/thing else. (1) symbol as a sign,
a successful actress, but money and success are not
X on the map, (2) description of an abstract concept
the keys to her happiness. on the other hand hurstby a concrete thing (scale – justice), (3) poetic symwood looses his wealth, soc position, pride, just as
bol – reference, suggestion.
accidentally as carrie’s success. the purposelessness
allegory: from greek allegoria = speaking other- of life.
wise, double meaning: primary (surface) meaning
and secondary (deep) meaning. closely related to
5.5 modernism
fable, myth.
hawthorne – the scarlet letter: symbolic–allegoric transformation in soc are viewed in lit, some invennovel. A = adultery, an allegory of moral conscious- tions shaped the perception of reality (einstein theness. hester is a living allegory of adultery, 2nd ory of relativity), tech and industrialisation changes
the life of individual, a double edged sword. psych:
meaning angel. pearl allegory of a sin.
young goodman brown: 1st meaning: the criticism w. james mind is a stream, river, s. freud idea of unof puritan soc, hypocrisy, playing for both sides, 2nd consciousness. phil: nietzsche, kierkegaard, bergmeaning: man can become a stranger in soc, es- son.
trangement, isolation. allegory of maturity: one has 1st predecessor of modernism was e. a. poe, symbolic imaginative poetry (french symbolists – into experience hell to value goodness.
stead of naming things directly using symbols).
h. melville – bartleby, the scrivener: existentionalism, deep fear of soc, alienation, isolation. window
• breaking linear structure – unlinear
on a wall. spiritual and physical death.
• break of perspective, more than one perspective
poe – the masque of red death
• break the rationalistic view of the world
naturalism and realism
19th cnt. 1st half affected by romanticism, 2nd
half darwinism, evolution theory. william james (h.
james’ brother) in phil, pragmatism, those ideas are
true which could be tested and proved true in practice. john dewey instrumentalist, ideas are instruments for practical use. eg education is instrument
of greater soc equality and harmony. no free will,
determined by soc environment. settings are dirty
parts of reality (ny, chicago). much poverty and material hunger after the civil war’s destructions. opposite side of the am. dream – corruption, greed, materialism.
mark twain – the gilded age: his 1st novel, satire
on pol corruption in washington, gold as a symbol of
outer value, no value inside. adventures of huckleberry finn, tom sawyer. simplicity, informality, bold.
colloquial, colour locale, humour, satire, universal
appeal, phil insides, contempt for hypocrisy. slavery, religion, intuitive soc criticism.
s. crane – red badge of courage: young man goes
thru the baptism of fire in the civil war, phys fear.
• subjective experience – strong objectivism
• break the poetics of realism, modernists focus
on unobservable reality – reality of mind
– mind does not work on the base of continuity and chronology
– reality is not seen from one single perspective but multiple
perspectivism: input in one’s mind is not one whole,
it consists of many pieces – imagination, dreamlike
experience: should be captured – continuous present, different narrations.
fiction: breaking the narrative chronology.
stream of consciousness: one of the most remarkable feature, considers the work of mind rather than
subject matter: introduction of forbidden topics,
shocking the reader.
perception through split self: separation of time and
american lit
• time strictly measured, but mind travelled thro- roles of the chars as well. he refers to subjective erugh time
form narrative and we speak about subjectivisation
of narration. free indirect speech enables the narra• mind can escape from time (time is subjective) tor over the roles of the chars. narration becomes
• irrational content of the mind rather than ratio- more reflective and more ambiguous.
the art of fiction: critical and theoretical essay. quesnal
tion: how can be truth accessible thru lit? how
• space is public, time can be private
to provide the reader w/true reflection of reality?
verisimilitude: very similar to reality. focuses on
language: bears the quality of poetry.
defamiliarisation: not only poetic, but also conven- novel as a genre, not investigated much before.
through the novel one can demonstrate the world,
tional words are used in a new way.
before it was only for entertainment and moral infiction has quality of drama, rather showing than struction. novel as a free form of composition, no
prescribed rules, new types of composition. aesthetic quality of construction.
• plot chars are many time only background
mimesis: uses the word to represent rather than to
imitate, rearranges, reorders the traditional struc• lang and narrative technique is important
ture, puts the stress on the form and depends on
• free indirect speech, interior monologue, cam- reader to project the world – formalist. mental conera eye technique, stream of consciousness
struction: not only constructing the external, but
also internal reality.
ultimate advance and sensibility can refer to what
we call acceding sensibility, rising new feeling thro- mature career in 3 parts:
ugh new symbols and new lang and that is why we 1. the portrait of a lady: a young bright american
can see the “ultimate advance” in the form. they girl goes to europe. after many good offers of marriage she chooses the wrong man. the most imporcreated autonomous world which was governed by
its own rules, and therefore not very accessible to tant part of the book is where she realizes her mistake. james shows her inner consciousness in this
popular readership.
gap refers to the gap between high art and popular quiet moment. the drama is not created by her acart. unified visions in several perspectives opposed tions, but by the thoughts in her mind. international
theme, comic and tragic, americans in europe, euroto pm plurality.
peans in america.
2. experiments w/themes and forms dealing with
5.6 20th cnt american novel
strong soc and pol currents of 1870s and 1880s.
h. james – a realist but not naturalist. observer of 3. “major phase”. cosmopolitan topics, exploring
the mind, wider consciousness. few of his stories the moral qualities of men and women forced to
include big events or exciting actions, chars in his deal with the dilemmas of cultural displacement.
last novels rarely do anything at all. things happen the bostonians, the princess sasamassima, the tragic
to them, but not as a result of their own actions. they muse.
watch life more than they live it. the changing con- working as dramatist returned to short fiction. domsciousness of the char is the real story. the individual inant subject matters: misunderstood or troubled
can obtain larger view of the world than offered by artists or writers, ghosts and apparitions, doomed or
soc. connected to his narrative technique: the point threatened children and adolescents. the real thing,
of view – refers to a way how the story is told. his the turn of the shrew, the beast in the jungle, the
works exemplify shifts within the traditional clas- wings of dove, the ambassador. controlling narrator
sification of narration and split, 3rd person and 1st becomes invisible, dramatising of the mind.
person. his omniscient narrator has limited point of
view. narrator tells the story in 3rd person, but by the real thing: the problem is how art changes reexperience and thoughts of a single char. all events ality. an artist wants to create the perfect picture of
are represented to the reader through the particular an aristocrat. when he tries to use real aristocrats as
awareness of a single char, such narrator is not neu- models, he fails and discovers that lower class modtral, but participant in a situation. focuses on how els are better then “the real thing.”
the situation is being perceived, by this he reaches the beast in the jungle: “unlived life,” john marcher
integrity of the novel. the narrator overtakes the is so afraid of life that he cannot really live, he is
american lit
sure sthing terrible is going to happen to him. much
later he discovers that the terrible fate waiting for
him “is that nothing is to happen to him.” may bartram loved john but he is unable to decide, homosexual motive. it is when he is alone, standing at her
grave, that it hits him: he loved her, a great deal, but
never saw it and now she is beyond his reach. he fulfilled his own prediction by allowing his obsession
with his fate to create his lost love – his beast in the
g. stein – 1st important jewish writer. melanctha,
things as they are, the making of americans, three
lives. stream of consciousness and the importance of
memory to perception, sequential thinking and feeling. repetitions in speech were what expressed the
bottom nature of an individual’s identity and experience. process of beginning again and again extends
to prolonged present into the continuous present that
characterise her prose. variety of differing perspectives on a person. important for her life was france.
studied at berkeley, radcliff college, john hopkins
(psych, phil and anatomy). consciousness = internal mediator between inner and outer world. mindfluidity (flux) of stream of consciousness. pragmatism, pluralistic universe. investigation on reader’s
perception (while studying brain anatomy). repetition, memory – important part of individuality. intellectual guru for hemingway, fitzgerald. her writing inspired fine arts: impressionism, cubism, surrealism – automatic writing, the land and power of
sleeping mind.
paul cezanne – focalised perspective: meeting in
one single point, shifting perspective.
she tried to imitate gustave flaubert at the beginning
of her career. art of experiment: lang (construction
of meaning), change of time and space, abstraction.
testing the limits of american english (changing the
word order, pronouns very ambiguous, makes text
less transparent). words do not connote directly, image has to be reconstructed.
she affected post-modernists: john asbury (poet),
john cage (performer), david antin (poet). wrote
some drama pieces and lectures. word is a basic entity for her writing, beauty of the words themselves.
autobiography of al. b. tokles. tender buttons:
prose and poetry, lang experience, economy of the
language. consisting of word pictures or collages
arranged under the headings of the objects, food
and rooms with no coherent syntax or paraphrasable
africa, fishing in cuba, red cross volunteer ambulance driver, wounded in the war. for him the writer
was a performing self who discovered thru action areas of personal being and crisis he could use to challenge the truth of lang and form. controlled use of
words, refusal of romantic illusions, precision. limited awareness of the narrator, imagist. keeps sentimentality and romanticism away. simple and transparent style is an illusion – iceberg theory. for whom
the bell tolls, to have and to have not, a movable
farewell to arms: french warfare, explicit natural
way. story of a man who falls in love w/a nurse, who
dies when giving birth. inflation of emotions. by the
end of the novel the hero is driven into a stoic isolation. objective correlative (eliot) a set of objects,
situation, chain of events which evoke certain emotion – the emotions are rather shown than described.
the sun also rises: (also known as fiesta) jake barns
narrator, wounded in the war (sexually impotent),
but spiritually all of them are impotent, all they want
to know is how to live in it – the emptiness of the
world. post-war frustration, nihilism, corruption.
how to cope w/the trauma, self indulgence. must
face the reality of his life. protoexistentialist stoicism – face existence as it is w/o any allusions. key
novel (chars are real persons). fishing and bull fight
– analogy to writing. nada = nothingness.
the old man and the sea: a heroic tale of an old
cuban fisherman, a ritual encounter w/nature’s force
as he battles w/a giant fish, and finally after winning, the sharks get all of it. “man is not made for
defeat. . . a man can be destroyed but not defeated.”
f. s. fitzgerald – jazz age, confessions of the postwar generation. lived ten years in europe. short
stories. this side of paradise, flappers and philosophers, tales of jazz age, all the sad young man, diamond big as ritz, the beautiful and damned, tender
is the night.
the great gatsby: soldier coming home can’t marry
his love from the past, she is already married. the
story wrapped into a criminal plot. the narrator
achieved a 3 step behind (quite objective) look at
gatsby’s life. the problems of the post-ww1 generation. drink to forget. parties, glamour, jazz.
w. faulkner – portrayed the tragic conflict between
the old and the new south. experimented w/multiple
narrators, spliced narratives, stream of consciousness. infused symbolism and realism. sanctuary,
hemingway – writer of the lost generation, journal- as i lay dying, light in august; absalom, absalom!,
ist, expatriot living in paris, bullfighting in spain, the unvanquished, the hamlet; go down, moses; a
war in italy, spanish civil war, game hunting in
american lit
fable, the town, the mansion, the rivers. poetry: the
marble farm, a green bough.
the sound and the fury: tragic account of a disintegrating southern “aristocratic” family, 4 chapters:
nine stories: in england under title for esme – with
love and squalor, a perfect day for banana fish:
story about the suicide of seymour glass. franny and
zooey, raise high the roof beam carpenters; seymour,
an introduction.
1. narrated through the mind of 33 yrs old menbeat generation – existentialism links modernism
tally challenged person
and post modernism, school or trend in european
philosophy and lit originated in 1930s and 1940s
2. his brother quentin at harvard
(kierkegaard, partially nietszche). being is con3. his brother jason
sidered over knowledge (epistemology). modernist
as giving the supremacy to the epistemological ap4. black servant dilsey
proach – how can i interpret this world (the sound
was able to construct creative relation to the past. and the fury), exemplified by detective novel as a
narrative sprinkled into fragments. story begins at genre. existentialism bridges sort of missing link
the end (and begins over and over again) with loose between subsequent period of modernism and postend. theme: imprisonment in the past. classical nar- modernism.
ratives are split, fragments, chronological inversion, reason becomes just a lesser force, against authentic
being. living in the fragmented world individuals
sudden shifts.
loose their sense of authentic being and so they live
j. d. salinger – catcher in the rye: the mood of 50s
in the world that is absurd. nothingness. existence
america. tension between the expectations of the inis facing “angst” and according to his/her choice or
dividual and about selfhood and the soc. the masdecision, he/she shapes her/his being.
ter plot of the 50s (plot that bears certain affinity),
in terms of post-modern we speak about proliferaworks w/similar master plot: sylvia plath: the bell
tion of worlds, the existence of several alternative
jar, ken kesey: one flew over the cokoo’s nest, philip
worlds, which co-exist.
roth: porthoy’s complaint, saul bellow: herzog. in
counter culture coexisting with the mainstream soc.
these the individual and soc are presented in anxmain stream: normative char of us, w.a.s.p (white,
ious tension, and the individual is presented as sick
anglo-saxon, protestant). woman icon: marilyn
– anti-hero. the story retells the period of soc conmonroe, “apple-pie-mummies”. man: certain status
tradictions can be displaced into personal illness, the
in profession, living in suburbs (suburbanisation).
story of an individual, who is struck by his personal
allen ginsberg, jack kerouac, neal cassidy, lawrence
projections of nausea (feeling sick). the individual
realizes that the institutions work as hostile force,
a paradox, because in 1950s usa became superpower
which threatens to diminish the real self of the indiin economy and living standard was higher than ever
vidual, to conform the expectations of the soc. the
before. the redundancy of technology resulted in
char tends to cling to childhood. when the protagohigh degree of institutionalisation, which for the innist is adolescent it is easier to mediate the powerdividual meant that was always under the strain to
lessness. power of institution vs power of imaginathe rationalised authority.
tion. issue of alienation – recognition of the self as
anxiety is understood by certain theories as fundadistinct and separate entity within a larger antagomental condition of modern age and is viewed as a
nistic and fragmented soc. not only alienation from
result of the fragmented perspective of the world.
the soc but also from the one’s self. fragmentation
of the experience invoked as a general description jack kerouac – on the road: expression of rebelof life in modern era and it comprises all aspects lion of the young generation against the conformist
of the experience. the fragmentation begins/arises adults. manifesto of the rebellious young generawhen the individual or soc realizes that the mean- tion. a celebration of the revolt against conformism
ing is not inherently given to the world, but is con- and normativity.
stantly produced and as such does not have any fixed
t. pynchon – gravity’s rainbow: is considered to be
foundation and this results in futility. simulation as
a post-modern ulysses in american lit, mostly bea symptom of post-modern era, which signifies that
cause of the complexity of its structure and basic
the real as such does not exist anymore, that everynarrative line, which is again a quest. rooted in
thing that we go through are just simulations, our
sort of middleness of signification, but also in hisidentity has been produced through series of simutory and soc environment of ww2. historiographic
lations (measure your authenticity).
american lit
(l. hutchens) metafiction (as well as doctorow’s ragtime). story line which is based on some historic
events, which may be fictitious but based on historic
background. most of the chars are caught within a
system and war in this novel is viewed as the most
totalising of systems and one way how to escape
from this system is through plotting, making up the
possibilities in terms of the development of the action. tyron slothrob central char, “tired one”, evokes
the image of vagabond, who wanders around postwar europe, he is an american soldier and spy who
is in quest for a v2 rocket which should have been
launched by nazi germany. there is a connection between v and v2 rocket, the novel is allusive (making
up the meanings, metaphorical) and elusive (it escapes one unifying meaning). most impressive parts
are descriptions of central europe zone, people live
somewhere in between (two lives, life and unimaginable thing), people disturbed and wounded by war;
displaced people.
crying of lot 49: together with nabokov’s lolita is
a bridge between modernism and post-modernism.
oedipa is trapped in the maze and she is sort of
detective, and we will see at the end if she found
the truth or if she stayed imprisoned in the tower of
novel v: 1st published novel. the symbol v can stand
for several meanings. two chars which carry on the
plot of the novel stencil and profane. names are connected with the functions of the chars in the novel.
one of them is nameless (profane), and other is characterised by a specific name (stencil). profane is the
one who is lost in between the signs and in the process of signification, while stencil is the one who
is constructor, a pattern maker, a one who wants to
be a cipher (a person of no influence). who is the
female figure the v stands for? the process of the
novel is the quest for what v signifies. v may stand
for venus or virgin (which are contradictory signifiers); for valetta, for strange land v and for void –
both of them profane – the deconstructor and stencil, who is constructor, are left almost the same at
the end: stencil – void; profane – contingency (a
possible event or occurrence or result).
vineland (1990), mason and dixon (1997), slow
learner: collection of short stories, which were published in diff magazines in 1960s. key short story in
this collection is called entropy. it has several central chars, closed system of the room, where people
are gathered, the temperature 37C (human body) becomes the temperature that destroys the system.
modernist: search for the knowledge and the meaning.
post-modern: meaning is somehow denied (paranoia, hallucinations).
especially when we look at the epistemological
dominance of modernism and ontological dominance of post-modernism.
indeterminacy: derrida’s term which he considered to be central to the knowledge of a post-modern
indeterminacy of meaning in a text: constantly deferred chain of signification (or deferral of meaning)
so the meaning is constantly deferred in any kind of
utterance of the text. it is constantly the lang and the
process, the way it signifies, the way it constructs the
meaning that it causes that the meaning, if there is
any, is being constantly deferred. it is never directly
pynchon’s novels are characterised by a higher allusivnes, proliferation of metaphors (metaphors in his
novels are not the anchors of the meaning, however
they somehow constantly suggest the possibilities of
there is not one definite, but there are several equally
probable possibilities of meaning. therefore we can
use term the entropic, the energy which causes nonbalance in the distribution of the energy in a closed
system; and the energy is therefore transformed into
heat. the particles of this energy are transformed
from the least probable pattern to the most probable
pattern – each of them is suddenly endowed with the
equal probability and therefore the system as such
entropy: information theory, in terms of understanding the system, which is based on proliferation
of pieces of information, of redundancy of pieces
when each of them is equally important, the system
breaks down because of the redundancy of meaning.
pynchon’s novels are characterised by the entropy of
the truth, all the meanings are equally probable and
as such prevent us from a totalising understanding
of the text. his composition, structure, meaning is
john irving – setting free the bears, the watermethod man, the 158-pound marriage, * the hotel
new hampshire, the cider house rules, the prayer for
owen meany.
the world according to garp: reflection of evil in the
american society. the life and opinions of t. s. garp,
a writer. son of an eccentric woman jenny fields,
who decided to bring up children w/o a husband.
they both leave for vienna to become writers. jenny
writes “a sexual suspect” which makes her famous
american lit
in the usa and becomes an authority for the feminist movement. garp writes a short story so he can
marry helen who wants to marry only a writer. he
becomes an average writer dealing w/problems of
protecting his family. only his “the world according
to bensenhaver” a worthless best-seller, secures him
his success.
metafiction closely connected with barth’s essay
the literature of exhaustion, used up-ness, impossible to write an ‘original’ story. lost in a funhouse: collection of 14 short stories, connected with
the theme of a difficulty of a story teller and especially the title one. ambrose got lost in the funhouse
and at the same time he contemplates the possibility how to tell the reader his story, fictional char
at the same time becomes the writer. incorporating
aspects of both theory and criticism. creating biographies of imaginary writers. pre-setting and discussing fictional works of an imaginary char. writers
of metafiction often violate narrative levels by commenting on writing, involving his/herself w/fictional
chars, directly addressing the reader, openly questioning how narrative assumptions and conventions
transform reality, trying to ultimately prove that no
singular truths or meanings exist. rejecting conventional plot, refusing to attempt to become “real life”.
ph. roth – writing american fiction: metafiction,
gives examples of some writers who founded metatext.
v. nabokov – the reality which fiction creates is a
special, constructed one, has nothing to do w/the reality.
the real life of sebastian knight: questioning reality, chars have extreme passion (for playing chess).
what we consider to be reality might be only a
dream, questioning the reality which somehow juxtaposes it with the reality, which is constructed by
lolita: unreliable narrator. supremacy of imagination connected w/the theme of time. chars oscillate
between what is momentary, unrepeatable and unrecoverable, and how that particular moment can turn
into eternity. “for me the world of fiction exists only
in so far as it affords me what i shall plumply call
aesthetic bliss. . . this state of aesthetic bliss can be
connected with such liminal state of mind as curiosity, tenderness, ecstasy, or kindness”.
pale fire: (1962) metatext on theory and criticism;
biography of an imaginary writer and it presents and
discusses fictional world – unreliable narrator (kinbote/botkin: ontological uncertainties that the novel
brings). unreliable text: text which questions real
story which might be presented or dramatised as a
quest for correct reading. chinese-box-text: reader
experiences the indefinite vertiginous spiral of oscillation between diff ontological levels.
kurt vonnegut – slaughterhouse number five, cat’s
richard brautigan – his works became pop cultural
icons. neo-classical feature of post-modernism:
high lit merges with popular lit, and that the classical
distinction of high and low genres has been erased.
anti-intellectual humour. his works bridges the gap
not only between high and low lit, but also between
the pessimistic interpretation of western archetype
and optimistic assertion of a western spirit. western
lit is about frontier man and his entrance into wilderness, western optimistic, rooted in the depiction that
western life is very simple, natural, and very close to
outside environment. he incorporates such elements,
but at the same time he parodies these patterns and
pluralism in a sense of mutual co-existence of
worlds. constructing new worlds, new abstract
“the final belief is to believe in a fiction, which you
know to be a fiction, there being nothing else. the
explicit truth is to know that it is a fiction and that
you believe in it willingly.” (stevens wallace)
a confederate general from big sur: the central char
is an expatriot general, the american dream can be a
nightmare. people are those who destroyed pastoral
america, general is also cruel, plunders and pollutes
troutfishing in america: experimental novel: of the
form and the lang. basically plotless, storyless. connotations of troutfishing are always very far away
from what is going on in the novel. trout fishing
serves as a metaphor for contemporary america, as
lost paradise. metaphor = tenor and vehicle which
carries on the symbolic meaning of metaphor and
there is always this analogical relationship between
vehicle and tenor. here tenor and vehicle are so separated that reader after while stops looking for connotations. the novel is linguistically experimental. typography: photograph or photopicture on the cover,
relationship between picture and the book points out
to the ontological opposition between the text, the
fictional world that the text constructs, and the real
world that the illustration initiates.
both of the novels deal with the attempts of chars to
rediscover the lost promises, either ideal or historical of pastoral america.
american dream = territory of the usa – promised
land. the myth of a land, which is untouched, which
american lit
is in abundance of nature, of its resources and as
such can provide frontier man with the best conditions for living. ontological instability of most of
brautigan works is based on several possible endings (pluralism of worlds and cultures as feature of
machine in the garden: an essay about pastoral
america (machine pollutes the garden of eden).
hawkline monster: (1974) western lit and archetype
parodied. subtitle to this novel is gothic western.
hybridisation of two traditional and specified genres
as gothic novel and western (both of them are low
the tokio – montana express: stylised worlds (mchale). examines several positions in which this plurality of worlds is exemplified, worlds which are constructed out of the lang (o?: orient, osaka, orange).
so the wind won’t blow away: roman a clef. a series
of meditations on death and time – time and dying.
the subject “I” speaking in this novel as well as the
previous one, is so called fluid subject / self – the
subject is not viewed as a fixed and coherent entity,
but the subject occupies a series of positions which
are successively occupied and immediately become
weakened – pluralism of pm.
in watermelon sugar: pastoral (synonymous word
is idyll) (renaissance: edmund spencer: sheperd’s
calendar, sir philip sydney: arcadia, shakespeare:
as you like it). all of them express the urban poet’s
nostalgic image of the peace and simplicity of the
life of shepherds and other rural workers. setting
always idealised. neo-pastoral: post apocalyptical
iDEATH (community) leads the life which is very
simple based on natural cycles close to nature. the
reader constructs the meaning, deciphers the irony.
iDEATH is lacking something: analogies between
garden of eden and iDEATH. certain acts are showing that not everything is ideal: inboil committing
suicide. iDEATH “I” is smaller than death – fluid
self – we do not even know the name of the narrator.
20th cnt american poetry
t. s. eliot – traditionalism, avantgarde. constant
rewriting, the poet can’t comprehend the origin of
his feelings, a constant search for the right form.
collaboration w/esra pound. cyclic structure: transcendent the chaos, disharmony, stress eternity.
mythologise reality and history. helped establish
modernism as the dominant mode in anglo-american
poetry. married in england with vivian haigh-wood.
intellectual circle “the bloomsbury group”. he finished in sanatorium which followed nervous col-
lapse. exciting challenge of new poetic structure
(wasteland). for lancelot andrews: collection of essays. writing plays for “as large and as miscellaneous audience as possible”. after 1925 his criticism
became more soc and cultural and more specifically
christian in orientation.
he extended coleridge’s notion of a clerisy to define
an elite of “superior intellectual” or spiritual gifts.
power of myth, wanna go home baby?, murder in
the cathedral, family reunion, the cocktail party.
lit criticism: 1. the importance of tradition and the
need for reshaping it. 2. resources of the lang as a
means of objectifying states of feeling and achieving
auditory effects of poetry. recreation of thought into
feeling – metaphysical poets. attention to details of
diction and rhetoric in poetry. the poet should get
“the whole weight of history of the language behind
his word” so that he can give “to the word a new life
and to the language a new idiom”. feeling for syllable and rhythm, penetrating far below the conscious
levels of though and feeling.
poetry: subtle irony, juxtaposition of unexpected
images, mixture of erudition and common speech
in his diction, allusions, echoes, refinement of dramatic monologue, poetic paradigm.
anglo-american modernism: characterised by traditionalism of its avantgarde.
traditionalism: close ties between tradition and modernity. eliot asserts that all ages are contemporarious. abandonment of traditional mimesis:
1. mimetic arts: expression of the human beings
and universe close to organic nature
2. non-mimetic: disharmony between man and
environment, search for transcendence, disharmony
the love song of j. a. prufrock: (1914) stage of inertia, incapability to love, passivity.
the wasteland: (1922) fragmentary form, based on
allusions of previous works (bible, divine comedy,
holy grail, shakespeare). impersonality – the quality of many spectators. structured as a tragedy of
sone who can receive and can’t respond. spectators,
observers who cannot act. starts w/wasteland ends
in the hope of rain. fragments of old love stories
(cleopatra, tristan and isolde), no love just (not fertile) sex. christianity at the centre as a cliché. 4 elements (water, air, fire, earth). the structure is cyclic,
necessary to re-read it, footnotes to help the reader.
shifting point of view. imagist technique. lost of
values, scepticism. man possessing not only positive but destructive even self-destructive powers. 5
parts or scenes:
american lit
1. the burial of the dead: the voice of the countess
speaking about pre-war (ww1), time of love,
peace, romantic. recalling the past (childhood)
then a change (fear in a handful of dust). london as a dead city.
2. a game of chess: an unfaithful woman’s man is
coming back from the war, abortion.
3. the fire sermon: song of the river thames full of
rubbish. tiresias (w/o a sex) watches, observes
how the typist is being seduced.
4. death by water fulfilled the prophecy from the
1st part “phlebas the phoenician, a fortnight
5. what the thunder said: in the wasteland “here is
no water” the cock calls “then spoke the thunder”, rain might come.
tradition and the individual talent: (1919) essay.
impersonal poetry, an escape from emotion and personality. anti-romanticist position, not as a direct
expression of the emotions. the split between the
one who experiences and the one who is creating.
new criticism: concerned entirely w/the text not
w/author’s bibliography.
4 quartets: lyrical poetry about american landscape,
4 parts, phil meditation. how to reconcile w/that
what is timeless, w/that which lives and dies.
wallace stevens – stands somewhat apart from the
lit controversies that engrossed esra pound, t. s. eliot
and william carlos williams. more of a businessman. renewed whitman tradition. “after the final no
there comes yes / and on that yes the future world
depends”. influenced by keats, tennyson, meredith.
reporter for new york tribune. worked for insurance
company. wife did not know that he was writing
poems. never visited europe. he wrote three experimental one-act plays. harmonium, the man with blue
guitar. the role of imagination in relation to reality,
or the reality of poetry in relation to the reality outside it. poet’s role is to help people live their lives.
understood the lang as a barrier which constantly
mediates the real world in between our mind.
children’s literature
children’s literature
familiar nursery rhyme. h-d is an arrogant, aggressive egg. every word has to have meaning for him.
e. lear – introduces humour into children’s literanon-sense: dream – absurdity of dream – basis for ture. book of nonsense; nonsense songs, stories,
botany and alphabets; more nonsense. laughable
non-sense tale. types:
lyrics: contained limericks, some narrative. epic
1. reality – dream – reality
poems, retelling the story in verses – pretended seriousness, mock-heroic. writing about the very trivial
2. real world + fantastic characters come to this
in a high stylistic way.
world of real things
he didn’t invent limericks (3 long 2 short lines,
aabba – trimeter/dimeter, a town in ireland) but
3. fantasy world – the story is settled there
made them popular. almost always starts w/“there
non-sense 6= anything, elaborated lit work, contra- was a . . . ” illustrated his own limericks.
dicts the logical thinking – absurd.
ted hughes – (died 1998) tales, poetry, several vollewis carroll – (dodgson) mathematician, happy
umes of poetry for children. collections: the earth
childhood. early poetry useful and instructive poowl and other moon-people; nessie, the mannerless
etry: neither useful nor instructive but crazy, playmonster; season songs. moon-whales and other poful. under his name wrote only math books, under
ems: strange, grotesque, sometimes terrifying, not
the pseudonym wrote alice’s adventures in wonderalways funny. he did not make a distinction between
land, through the looking glass, sylvia and bruno,
his poetry for children and adults. in rattle bag: he
sylvia and bruno concluded.
cooperated w/seamus heaney (nobel prize).
alice’s adventures in wonderland and through the
looking glass: logical non-sense (jam every other
day), homophony puns (lessons – lessen). narra- 6.2 modern fantasy
tion combined w/poems. animals turned into things folk tale: oral origin but were written down. ap(flamingo – stick, hedgehog – ball) things turned proaches:
into humans (cards, chess figures), magic objects
(cake, mushroom). unpredictability. transforma1. folklorist: fragments of ancient nature-myths
tions (baby – pig), physical transformations (grow(about: sun, wood, wind), after christianity reing big, shrinking, long neck).
ligious myths
intertextuality: nursery rhymes, poems. parodies of
2. psychoanalyst: argues that folk tales are based
well-known nursery rhymes. ch2 – a poem by isaac
on our dreams, beautiful and nightmares
watts: how doth the little busy bee changed into a
crocodile not busy but lazy, relaxed waiting for little
3. social anthropologist: folk tales have always
fishes. where there is work there is food vs no work
been encoded by moral codes
still some food. the second poem “you are old father
william” is a parody of robert southley’s didactic topology of folk tales:
poem. the old man is doing things we wouldn’t nor1. realistic folk tales: based on village life, comally expect (somersault, stand on head). the mad
untry-life, chars: adults, village residents. huhatter’s song “twinkle twinkle little bat” is an exmorous.
cellent parody of jane taylor’s twinkle twinkle little
star. the ‘bat’ has 2 meanings, there was a professor
2. humorous: concentrated on rural chars that are
w/such a nickname at oxford. in the poem sluggard
silly and crazy (simple simon, lazy jack).
by isaac watts the sluggard is replaced by a lobster.
3. religious: supernatural elements, evil, saints.
some characters are ‘borrowed’ from other sources
such as the “hatter” – mad as a hatter. characters
4. animal: (talking beasts) fables, showing some
from nursery rhymes appear often. tweedle-dee and
human characteristics or qualities on animals.
tweedle-dum: the twins. they represent each others
mirror image (t-dee’s favourite word “contrariwise”,
5. folk fairy tales: fantastic tales of magic, supershaking hands w/alice: one extends left the other
natural characters, subjects. for adults as well.
right hand). the whole chapter had the structure
folk tale 6= fairy tale.
of the nursery rhyme. humpty-dumpty: the whole
chapter elaborates on the incidents related to in the
children’s literature
(b) george mcdonald: at the back of the north
structure: simple (oral tradition), direct, no comwind serious, symbolic, philosophical.
plicated plot. 1st part: setting, introducing heroes,
central part: develops the problem, moves towards
(c) john rusking: king of the golden river
the climax, principle of triple repetition (3 riddles, 3
2. the modern non-sense tales: (1865) respected
tasks to solve problem, the 3rd is the best solution),
children’s needs, preferences, humorous, playending: resolution of the problem, happy ending.
theme: the fight between good and evil. good always wins.
20th cnt theme structure:
characters: stereotypes, no development. bad ones
1. story starts to develop in real world, continues
always punished, good ones rewarded.
in the fantasy world (wonderland) and ends in
setting: usually far from here, long time ago, places
the reality. main chars (child) have ways to get
never identified.
into these fantasy worlds (old wardrobe, rabbit
similarities of plot: some themes are universal, verhole, hurricane, flying).
sions may differ but invariants are similar in all diff
2. setting in the real world fantastic elements become part of real world (james and the giant
british folk tales: based on village life, no individupeach)
alism. typical british tales: jack and bean stalk, lazy
jack, goldy locks and three bears, the ginger beard
3. setting completely in fantasy land, no connecboy, three little pigs.
tion w/the real world (the hobbit), theme:
irish: celtic inheritance, fantastic magical tales
(a) comic, light fantasy
american: several types:
(b) symbolic fantasy (wild)
(c) high fantasy (tolkien)
• afro-american: mostly animal stories, brought
here by black slaves. collected by harris: uncle
remus stories. mostly about rabbit and its wit. type I fantasy
j. m. barrie – peter pan: (1906) originally as a play
• north american, indian: based on myths of crestaged at pre-christmas time. later the narrative veration, explanatory and moralising.
sion appeared peter pan in kensington garden, peter pan and wendy. peter pan – child character who
european: well known, popular group.
little red riding hood: very popular and provoca- doesn’t want to grow up, idealised childhood, overtive, because it rises issues about gender identity, estimation of purity and innocence. the children
sexuality, violence. origins from the werewolves tri- of neverland – fearful (fighting pirates every day),
happy, but still sad – w/o a mother.
als, first recorded by perrault, grimms’ version is
called ‘little red cap”, from perrault’s version. to- f. baum – the wizard of oz: altogether 14 oz books,
day there are many versions, including feminist, and american fantasy scene. travelling in a fantasy
parodies. in perrault’s version it is not clear whether world. dorothy, orphan in kansas, dog toto, a hurl.r.r.h. is raped, or asks to be raped. the illustrations ricane takes them to the land of oz.
in perrault’s version are very ambiguous.
c. s. lewis – narnia series: the lion, the witch and
modern tale: fantasy (not folk tale). never realis- the wardrobe; the last battle about 4 children, peter,
tic, fiction which is fantastic. originated much later, susan, edmund and lucy, who enter the imaginary
product of specific author, thus individual style. land of narnia thru the back of a wardrobe in the
house of a professor with whom they are staying.
types of fantasy:
lewis was learned in medieval allegory, norse myth
1. symbolic tales: (w/religious implications) high and classical legends. most important element was
historical value, concept of childhood pre- allegory, christian allegory.
sented in the victorian period. gloomy, never
type II fantasy (fantasy creatures come to the real
(a) charles kingsley: water babies about a
p. l. travers – (australian) mary poppins: ordinary
drown boy.
family, real world, teacher-baby sitter mary poppins
children’s literature
brings the magic. m. p. is a kind of white which,
instead of the folk tale indefinite settings this story
is set here and now. mostly humour and magic seldom scary. sequels mary poppins comes back, mary
poppins opens the door, mary poppins in the park.
each book begins w/mary’s coming into this world
and ends w/her leaving.
m. norton – the borrowers: in contrast to large allegorical and mythic themes this is small scale fantasy. borrowers are little people who inhabit odd
corners of houses. the borrowers afield, the borrowers afloat, the borrowers aloft, the borrowers
t. hughes – interested in anthropology and folklore.
the iron man: monsters, creatures, overlapping of
myth + sci-fi. theme: belief in nature, neonaturalism (power of animals, plants), animalisation, animal instincts to survive. the story lasts 5 nights.
iron man: chews iron, metal things, iron – association w/robots, man – primitive power, but the char
is mythical, dies and rises from the grave again, is
afraid of sthing. taller than a house, eyes like light
lamps, head as big as a bedroom. creatures from
other planets. the story starts and ends in a mythical way, expectations. we don’t know where did he
come from, but in the end we know why – save the
world. lived in a nice place in the space (paradise)
but wanted to experience sthing new, diff, he came
to earth. hogarth – clearly human being, represents
children thinking in a diff way, people should not
destroy the iron man. the end of the story is naive,
children are able to change things. children more
open to strange creatures than adults (E.T.). style
playing w/the language, sounds (bigger – Bigger –
BIGger – BIGGEr – BIGGER). fairy tale features,
iron man (champion) challenges the dragon.
r. dahl – popular, controversial, subversive violent, sadistic, antifeminist, vulgar, primitive, racist.
great contrast between drastic scenes and happy
end. wrote mysterials (morbid) short stories, unusual endings, plots. mystery for adults tales of unexpected: morbid tales for adults, full of unexpected
events and brutal murders. wrote some poetry revolting rhymes, the rhyme stew. boy: tales of childhood, going sole partially autobiographic, partially
fiction. sometimes makes the image of the hero from
himself = myth maker. negative images of adult people, parents. children are always good chars.
matilda: superchild, telekinetic powers, can read,
count at age 3-4. neglected by her parents. caricature characters. black-white chars, names as they
behave (mrs. honey, ms. trunchbull), children are
dickisian (caricatures). matilda helps mrs. honey to
get back her flat.
james and the giant peach: james had no parents,
lives w/relatives who are bad on him. suddenly a
giant peach grows in their garden. it kills james’
relatives and the worms inside the peach represent
the family for james.
charlie and the chocolate factory, fantastic mr.
fox, magic finger, the twits, george’s marvellous
medicine, the enormous crocodile, the giraffe and
me, danny the champion, the wicar of nibbleswicke,
esio trot. the minnins: classical fantasy tale, fight
between good/evil, minnins – dahlian feature, invents new neologism, play w/lang, words. the
witches: young boy and his grandma are fighting
witches, antifeminism – witches are always women.
the bfg(big fragile giants): they eat children, their
names: flesh lamb eater, blood sucker, etc. good giants who cause nice dreams. dahl is vulgar here, but
instead of vulgarisms he invents new words (whizzpopping) but children can still feel the expressivity
and the tension.
type III (high) fantasy
presents an alternative secondary world that is invented by the author, parallel to the real one. based
on invented mythology, ancient eposes, sagas, medieval legends and allegories. highly serious fiction.
“quest lit” searching for something. the finest authors create whole new worlds, its history, geography, language. multilevelled composition (symbolic, religious meaning, the level of adventure).
j. r. tolkien – (gb) studied at oxford, professor of
anglo-saxon lang. the silmarillion, the hobbit or
there and back again, the lord of the rings: the fellowship of the ring, the two towers, the return of the
the hobbit: pre-episode to the lord of the rings. motives of beowulf. humour, philosophy of life. classical folk tale structure, the fight between good and
evil w/happy end. the hero, bilbo baggins is partially longing for adventurous life, but his roots are
in comfort and home. gandalf the wizard decides
for him. in this story bilbo finds the ring of the rings.
other characters: elves, trolls, eagles, ponies, monsters, orcs, dwarfs, humans, spiders, dragon. bilbo
is not a typical hero, mostly struggles to keep up
w/the others in the party. but in the end he returns
as a true hero. setting: the middle earth. great
many references to heroes, ancestors, kings, sons of
kings which are not in the book, but are described
in the lord of the rings. hundreds of names, family
children’s literature
trees. style: rich in expressions, archaisms, mysticism. tolkien is the master of lang.
u. le guin – (us) continued the tolkien cult in the
us. a teenager novel very far from anywhere else.
fantasy trilogy the wizard of the earthsea, the tombs
of atuan, the eartsea shore setting: eartsea, island
world. characters: wizards, witches, magic creatures. main hero: young prince, his journey thru life,
development of the personality. the author created
the whole land, with maps. typical lang. themes:
becoming an adult, how to prove and test one’s qualities, who am i, where is my place in the world?
j. aiken – new type of history – fiction. the past
interferes into the present. necklace of raindrops,
the wolves of the willonghy chase, the cuckoo tree,
the whispering mountain, the stolen lake. imaginative history, never existed. setting: past, refers to
important events in eng history, facts, personalities
(james iii, richard iv) but some characters just added,
changed results of battles. playing w/historical facts
– fantasy. style: colourful, caricatures, beautiful setting, flat but outstanding characters.
a. garner – myths and legends in present days. the
weirdstone of brisingamen, the moon of gomrath.
characters need magic forces, frightening rather than
amusing, humorous, adventurous.
elidor, the owl service: based on a legend of a
wife made of flowers who betrayed her husband
and brought dead on her lover, in punishment was
turned into an owl. mixing several time-levels
(present+past) and the reader must sort between
the red shift: sometimes hard to follow because of
sudden leaps thru time, elliptical dialogues, allusions. in the novel conventional time means less and
physical place more. lives which appear to be lived
in different historical periods are bound together by
a power outside space and time. a present day story
about separated young lovers, the central level of the
book, is interwoven w/others about villagers who
take refugee in a church during the english civil war
(2nd level) and about ex-roman legionaries in ancient tribal britain (3rd level). central hero is tom,
intelligent teenager, he is in love w/jan. his parallels are macey in the earliest one and thomas in the
middle one. they are linked by a stone axe buried
by macey found by thomas, who hides it again and
tom discovers it again. all 3 suffer from psychotic
disturbance, and are catastrophic to those around
them. macey goes beserk and kills, thomas helps
bring death to the villagers, tom murders love. the
phrase “red-shift” denotes a phenomenon observed
in the light from stars, a theory that the universe is
psycho-fantasy: fantastic elements are not around
you, you don’t perceive them, but you create them,
products of imagination, daydreaming.
c. storr – marianne dreams: anger can hurt somebody, a girl drowns the monster who wants to kill a
sick boy.
p. pearce – a dog so small: a dog – product of imagination – boy wants it very much – finally gets one.
j. k. rowling – harry potter: harry potter and the
philosopher’s stone, harry potter and the chamber
of secrets, harry potter and the prisoner of azkaban, harry potter and the goblet of fire. characters: harry potter, a 12 years old boy (wizard and orphan), lives w/the dursleys. dursleys: vernon, petunia, dudley. dumbledore is the school’s headmaster,
hagrid, ron weasly and hermione granger: friends.
moaning myrtle: a girl’s ghost who was killed by
the snake. lord voldemort: tom riddle, took care
of harry. draco malfoy, lucius malfoy: harry’s enemies. setting: hogwarts school of witchcraft and
wizardry, boarding school. creatures: spiders, snake
who kills w/a look, pixies (like little elves), ghosts,
nearly headless nick, 3 headed puppy. classical
gothic novel features – castle, prison, cellars. magic
objects: wands, broomsticks, invisible cloak. combining horror and humour. autonomous fantasy –
situated near london in a parallel world. h.p. won
numerous awards and it’s very popular. movie version.
picture books
pictures telling stories. in a picture book the artwork
has an equal role to that of the verbal text. first picture book was komensky: orbis sensualius, an illustrated dictionary.
new picture books: the author of the text is also the
creator of the pictures.
illustrated books: pictures accompany the text (alice in wonderland), are of secondary importance.
the illustrations explains or illuminates the verbal
text, helps the working of ch. imagination.
m. sendak – where the wild things are: a dream
about monsters and becoming their king. we are all
in dumps with jack and guy.
e. carle (sorry)
p. hutchins – rosie’s walk: the text is one sentence.
children’s literature
r. briggs – the snowman: no text, just pictures.
animal tales
j. and a. ahlberg – gorilla: the pictures complement the text to show what is difficult to imagine
for a young child. hannah wants to see a real gorilla, she asks her father to take her to the zoo, he
doesn’t have time, she has a dream that she is going out w/a gorilla. one day her dream comes true.
pictures: atmosphere, relationship of the girl w/her
father (she is sad, lonely) – cold colours, hannah +
gorilla pictures – warm colours. pics also show the
psychological side, impressions, emotions.
long tradition: folk tales about animals, fables, lesteriums. recently dealing w/not only humanised animals, partly humanised animals (speaking human
language) but describing animals as they live in the
wild. folk tales assign animals human qualities, eg
fox – cunning, rabbit – shy, weak, not based on reality, cultural influence – diff culture, diff qualities,
eg in africa the rabbit is clever.
r. kippling – the jungle book: baloo, baghera, akila
are teachers of mougli the found child. the law of
a. browne (sorry again)
the jungle, human values vs jungle values. setting
in india where kipling was raised. man is strong,
d. mckee – ecology: blue vs red monsters
survives even in the jungle. animals represent the
m. foreman – war and peace. panda’s puzzle: need for discipline. animals criticising people, their
panda travels to find out if he is a black bear w/white speech is poetic.
spots or vice versa.
b. potter – the tale of peter rabbit: illustrated by the
author, simple humorous story, educative, dangers.
6.4 children’s fiction
originated as a letter sent to an ill boy.
reality vs fantasy, absence of fantastic elements, no k. grahame – the wind in the willows: (1908) novel
magic, spell, true to life. events which really hap- form, also for adults, the hero is adventurous, not
pened. sub-genres:
interested in quiet, idyllic life by the river. get imprisoned, by the help of his friends gets home. the
• family story
mole represents a kind of credo of the author. wonderful poetic english.
• girl’s story
e. b. white – stuart little: how far the animal humanisation can get – mouse born as the second son of
an american human family in NY. stuart wears cap,
• holiday
shoes, trousers and can’t enter the world of mice.
• some problem
he realizes, that he is diff from humans and mice.
leaves home searching for sone similar. it ends w/o
teenage fiction – modern type of lit. more complex any definite conclusion.
struct in the 1960s, not limited by gender. problems charlotte’s web: a spider helping a pig. the trumpet
in family, school, growing up, etc. works often show of the swan: becoming a famous musician.
no respect for authority, parents w/o will to understand young people, death of the protagonist, open- a. a. milne – poems when we were very young and
whinnie the pooh, the house at pooh’s corner: dediending, difficult problems.
cated to his son christopher robin. after the publicasalinger’s – catcher in the rye (1951).
tion it took 1 year to get to children, it was read by
j. blume – drugs, death, alcohol, sexual deviation. entellektuels. taoism, simplicity, pooh as a philosoblubber, are u there god?, dennie, forever: sexual pher.
experience of a girl, breaktime: sex experienced by h. lofting – the story of doctor doolittle: a human
a boy.
doctor curing animals, speaks animal languages.
b. doherty – dear nobody: deals w/early pregnancy.
r. lawson – ben and me: written by benjamin
a. fine – madame doubtfire, google eyes: incomplete franklin’s mouse amos. the declaration of indepenfamily, the girl is finding a way how to communicate dence, scientist, inventor. illustrated by lawson, arw/mother’s new partner.
chaic style.
• school story
a. sewell – black beauty: autobiography of a horse.
faithful, obedient, responsible. difficult life of working horses. for horse owners.
children’s literature
e. knight – lassie comes home
j. o. curwood – nomads of the north
e. seton-tomphson – founder of the subgenre animal biography. wild animals i have known. good
knowledge of nature, authentic stories, good observations.
f. mowat – encourages the relationship between
man and nature, to feel responsibility for nature. a
whale for the killing, lost in the basren(?).
communicative class teaching
some basic classroom techniques
• look at all students in the class: don’t be nervous; switch your gaze from one side to another so that you will know what is going on in
the whole class
• vary your techniques for asking questions:
questions attract the attention of your students;
don’t start w/the name of the student you
are addressing – give a question, pause, look
around, then call the student
• take account of different levels within the
class: ask difficult question to the brightest
students and later the same question to those
who lay behind; sit more advanced student to
less advanced; mixed groups encourage less
advanced students, call on him/her to show
his/her knowledge
• deal w/individual problems after the class; it
gets to the root of any problem
• correct your students in a positive way: gently,
make notes, go over them at the end of the discussion; remedial work has its importance also
for more advanced students
• pair and group work: these encourage shier stu• don’t go round the class: while you’re asking
dents; it stimulates conversation
questions, students can relax before their turn
comes; go back to someone you’ve just ques- purposes of communication activities
tioned, everyone realizes he/she may be asked
• they provide whole-task practice: our means
at any time
for providing learners with “total skill” (the
• include everyone: don’t forget students sitting
whole-task practice) is through various kinds
in the back, or on the ‘wings’ of the class
of communication activities structured in order
to suit the learner’s level of ability
• make sure the class is seated in the best possible way: ideally everyone should be able to see
• they improve motivation: to communicate w/oeveryone else, probably in a circle
thers, it is the sense of learning
• limit teacher talking time: a teacher should ideally be a stimulator who gets his/her students to
• write clearly: cleaning blackboard work is essential; try and arrange writing in an orderly
and logical fashion, so that the whole pattern is
• they allow natural learning: lang learning takes
place inside the learner; only through natural
processes, when a person is involved in using
the lang for communication
• they can create a context which supports learning: they create positive personal relationship
among students and between the learner and
the teacher
• encourage your students: praise whenever possible, say ‘good’ as often as you honestly can; some basic considerations
mind your possible discovering/discouraging
• lang-oriented communication (rivers calls it
‘skill-getting’) is the basis
• be careful w/the use of grammar terms: apart
• all situations in which real communication ocfrom common ones like ‘noun’, ‘adjective’,
curs naturally have to be taken advantage of
‘verb’, many native speakers hardly know the
difference between ‘gerund’ and ‘participle’
• two main devices to the teacher in making up
• encourage your students to practice english
outside the classroom: give students homework, get them to read a book, don’t forget
bbc broadcast, english/american newspapers;
get your students to read english books for enjoyment
communicative activities:
– information gap activities force the participants to exchange information in order
to find a solution (they can be included in
guessing games, jigsaw tasks, problemsolving activities)
– opinion gap activities creatively incorporate controversial texts (ideas), which
require the description (defence) of the
participants’ views, ideas; other types:
simulations, role plays, project, drama
• meaningful activities: on a personal level, performance improves, generate interest
• learning a lang is also an educational experience
• the degree of learners’ activity also depends on
the type of material they’re working on
• activities can imply a lot of doing and making
things (final product)
• an important part of lang teaching is cooperation and empathy; teacher’s attitude towards
cooperation influences the quality of communication activities
communicate as in real situations. grammar learned
inductively (generalising from examples). goal is to
communicate in target lang, to think in target lang.
vocabulary emphasised over grammar. teacher directs class activities, but teacher and students are
partners. self-correction encouraged whenever possible.
audio-lingual method is based on the behaviorist
belief that lang learning is the acquisition of a set
of correct lang habits. the learner repeats patterns
until able to produce them spontaneously. once a
given pattern is learned the speaker can substitute
words to make novel sentences. teacher directs and
controls student’s behaviour, provides a model, reinforces correct responses. goal is to use target lang
communicatively, overlearn it, to be able to use it automatically by forming new habits in the target lang
and overcoming native lang habits. new vocabulary,
structures presented thru dialogs, which are learned
thru imitation, repetition, drills. grammar induced
from models. native lang not used in the classroom.
the teacher’s role: teacher has to decide whether to
join in the activity as an equal member (odd member of a student in pair-work), or remain in the back- 7.3 the silent way, suggestopedia, comground to help and observe.
munity lang learning, tpr
ways of organising discussion groups:
the silent way teaching must be subordinated to
learning and thus students must develop their own
• pictures/posters on the walls
inner criteria for correctness. learners are responsi• in all the above activities, the focus is on the ble for their own learning. all four skills are taught
meaning, students have to be communicative from the beginning. student’s errors are expected as
rather than to learn linguistic forms
a normal part of learning, the teacher’s silence helps
foster self-reliance and student initiative. teacher is
• the organising is tightly controlled
active in setting up situations, while the students do
most of the talking and interacting. goal is to use
7.2 grammar transl m., direct m., au- lang as self-expression, develop independence from
dio-lingual method
the teacher, develop inner criteria for correctness.
grammar translational method focuses on devel- teacher often uses cuisenaire rods to focus students’
oping students’ appreciation of the target lang’s lit as attention on structures. teacher sees student’s errors
well as teaching the lang. lit lang seen as superior to as clues to where the target lang is unclear. teacher is
spoken, culture equated w/lit and fine arts. students silent much of the time, speaking only to give clues.
are presented w/target lang reading passages and an- student–student interaction is encouraged.
swer questions that follow. other activities include suggestopedia lozanov’s method seeks to help the
translating lit passages from one lang to the other, learners eliminate psych barriers to learning. envimemorising grammar rules, memorising native-lang ronment is relaxed and subdued, low lighting and
equivalents of target lang vocabulary. teacher as the soft music in the background. students choose a
controller of all activities, students follow instruc- name and a char in the target lang and culture
tions. goal is to read lit in target lang, learn grammar and imagine being that person. dialogs are presented during 2 musical concerts, once w/the teacher
rules and vocabulary.
direct method allows students to perceive meaning matching his voice to the rhythm and pitch of the
directly thru the target lang because no translation is music while students follow. the 2nd time teacher
allowed. visual aids and pantomime are used to clar- reads normally, students relax and listen. goal is
ify the meaning of vocabulary items and concepts. to learn at accelerated pace, a foreign lang for evstudents speak a great deal in the target lang and eryday communication by tapping mental powers,
– coverage: a word is more useful if it
overcoming psych barriers. teacher has authority,
covers more things, than if it only has
“desuggests” negative feelings. no tests, students’
one specific meaning (e.g. ‘book’ has
in-class performance is evaluated. errors are not corgreater coverage than ‘notebook’, ‘exerrected immediately.
cise book’, ‘textbook’)
community lang learning curren’s method considers students as “whole persons” w/intellect, feel• the decision about what vocabulary to teach
ings, instincts, physical response and desire to learn.
and learn will be heavily influenced by inforteacher also recognises that learning can be threatenmation we can get about frequency and use
ing, teachers help students feel secure and overcome
(plus topic, structure, teachability, needs and
their fears. students generate their syllabus, they
choose what they want to learn. goal is to learn lang
communicatively, to take responsibility for learning.
• needs: what students want to know (english for
teacher is a counsellor, students become less and less
specific purposes)
dependent on him. non-defensive learning requires
• word building: choosing a word because a gen6 elements: security, aggression (assertion), atteneral rule can be formed (work – worker)
tion, reflection, retention and discrimination (sorting
out diffs among target lang forms). both teachers
• topic areas
and students make decisions in the class, spirit of
cooperation. use of native lang enhances student’s
• cross reference: when teaching vocabulary
security. instructions, sessions expressing feelings
connected w/cars, choose words common to
are in native lang. self-evaluation.
other means of transport as well
total physical response asher’s approach places
• related structure: structures ‘demand’ their
primary importance on listening comprehension,
own vocabulary
emulating the early stages of mother tongue acquisition, then moving to speaking, reading, writing. what do students need to know?
students demonstrate their comprehension by act• meaning
ing out commands issued by the teacher. activities are designed to be fun. goal is to provide en• context in which the word is used
joyable learning experience, having a minimum of
stress. students are not forced to speak before they
• meaning of the word in relation to other words
are ready. evaluation thru simple observation of ac(eg ‘vegetable’ → more specific words: cartions.
rots, cabbages, potatoes)
teaching vocabulary
”it is said: language structure makes up the skeleton
of language; then it is vocabulary that provides the
vital organs and the flesh.” (harmon, 1991)
we must have meaning, we need to have a store
of words (to express the meaning). traditional lang
teaching (not a main focus for learning itself) vs up
to date teaching (equally important as acquisition
of grammar): more interesting techniques, how to
teach vocabulary.
selecting vocabulary:
• more concrete words (beginners) → abstract
• opposites and synonyms of words (antonyms,
absolute synonyms), sense relations
• meaning in context is most important
• word use
• word meaning is frequently stretched through
the use of metaphor and idiom
• word meaning is also governed by collocation
(a headache, stomachache, earache, but not
‘throat-ache’ or ‘leg-ache’)
• style and register (using of words in social and
topical context)
word formation – words can change their shape and
their grammatical valve, too (eg run – running –
– frequency: the words which are most ran, plus suffixes, prefixes, sound, stress, how words
commonly used are the ones we should are written and spoken). the use of certain words
can trigger the use of certain grammatical patterns
teach first
• frequency and coverage:
(eg chair → chairs, *furniture → furnitures; ask →
asked, *say → sayed).
• active (students are expected to be able to use
• naming some words from student’s memories
• mind maps (putting a list of words into different groups)
• guessing the meaning
• word formation
• passive (students will recognise them but are
not able to produce them)
interaction w/words: experiments seem to suggest
that students remember best when they have actually done something w/the words they are learning.
there’s a definite advantage in getting students to do
more than just repeat them. we should get students
to interact w/words, do things w/words.
discovery techniques: students are asked to discover
for themselves what a word means and how and why
is being used.
allow students activate their previous knowledge
and to show what they know. give students opportunities to practice these words.
examples of vocabulary teaching
• reality (real objects, in the classroom; “this is a
window.” – point to the window)
• pictures (tractor, hospital, train)
• mime, action, gestures (stumble, sneeze, dig)
• contrast (cold – hot, big – small)
• enumeration (general words (clothes) – specific
words (jeans, hat, boots, belt))
presenting vocabulary:
• say the word clearly and write it on the board
• deduce meaning from context
• create context
• describe and define
• use objects in the classroom
• opposites
• synonyms
• get the class to repeat the word in chorus
• translate the word into the student’s own lang
• ask students to translate the word
• draw a picture to show what the word means
• ask questions using the new word
• use mime or tape recorder to make students
guess the meaning of the new word
• wall charts
• word games
• explanation (apron – “i like cooking.”)
a general model for introducing new vocabulary
• translation (when students don’t have any idea five components:
what a word could mean)
1. lead in (key concepts – information about the
presentation through: modelling or visual represencontext)
2. elicitation (to see if students can produce the
• underlying: photograph
new lang; decide to which of the stages go as
to the next)
• using a stress square: photographer
3. explanation (show how the new lang is formed)
• using a stress mark before the stressed syllable:
4. accurate reproduction (repeat and practice –
emphasis on accuracy)
• writing a stress pattern of the word next to it:
5. immediate creativity (make own sentences)
discovery techniques:
• dictionary: matching the words and the pictures
some presentation techniques:
• using charts: eg “how does x get to work,
school?” (fill the chart)
• using a dialogue: eg “do you like x?” “yes, i
do.”, “no, i don’t.” (immediate personalisation)
• using a ‘mini situation’: pictures using texts for
contrast: 2 texts – 1st in future continuous, 2nd
in future simple
3. text study: technique based on contrasting of
its use in the text, teacher can get students to
look at the way lang is used, or what kind of
lang is used in a certain context, students have
to recognise the new lang, eg select the verb
ending and put the verb in the right columns
according to their endings.
4. problem solving: for more intermediate level,
students can look at areas of grammar rather
than small details, eg use the future rather than
just one future form such as “going to”.
• using texts for grammar explanation: 1. explain
the grammar, 2. read the text, 3. read expla- practice techniques:
nation and do preliminary exercise, 4. person1. drills
testing visuals for situation: eg a murder story
in past continuous tense “what x was/were doing at 8p.m.?”
• what overt grammatical help can the teacher
give at the presentation stage?
– modelling – clear model of the new lang;
clarity, repetition
– isolation – isolate part of the sentence
– visual demonstration – diagrams / charts,
writing, time lines
– fingers (eg we’re swimming.
we are
– explanation
discovery techniques: techniques where students are
given examples of lang and told to find out how they
work, to discover the grammatical rules rather than
to be told. advantages: students are fully concentrating, using their cognitive powers. our approach
is more student-centred (it’s not just the teacher
telling the students what the grammar is). they
are actually discovering information for themselves.
problems: time consuming, occasionally confusing
activities (for best students). mainly suitable for intermediate levels.
4 types of discovery techniques:
1. review: the students are exposed to the new
lang; they don’t concentrate on it at this stage,
but having seen the grammar ‘in action’ will
help them later. activities based on reading
texts and listening to the texts.
2. matching techniques: to match part of the
sentences and phrases, students have to make
choices about what goes w/what, it helps them
to discover correct facts about grammar
2. interaction activities
3. involving personality
4. games
practising structures:
• from controlled to less controlled, from mechanical to meaningful
• repetition: students don’t know what they are
saying, it’s monotonous, it should be just the
first step, to learn pronunciation
• instead of repetition use: substitution – students fit into the structure (phrase, picture) single word prompts, eg teacher: “cinema”, student: “let’s go to cinema.”
• free substitution – teacher gives an example,
student makes his/her own example and uses
the structure
• picture prompts (include visualisation)
• meaningful practice: avoid mechanical repetition, make the practice more personal, involve
students to their own opinions; give students a
chance to say something real about themselves;
situations that imply structures; leave students
to decide exactly what to say; let students add
something of their own
• organising practice in the class: write examples on the board; ask questions, students give
real answers; give other examples, students ask
each other questions; students make up their
own questions
• free oral practice: dialogues, real situations, teacher acts as a model
grammar in lang teaching
“the study and practice of the rules by which words
change their forms and are combined into sentences.”
the role of grammar in lang teaching:
• covert grammar teaching: grammar facts are
hidden; students may be asked to do an information gap activity where new grammar is hidden; their attention is drawn to the activity, not
to the grammar; teachers don’t draw conscious
attention to the grammatical rules
• overt grammar teaching: the teacher provides
students w/grammatical rules, the information
is openly presented
lang functions: i want to say something, how to say
it? instead of teaching grammar we should teach
functions (i want to apologise, to invite somebody),
but w/o grammar it’s impossible. grammar is partially subconsciously learned. general feeling – students need to know how to perform the functions
and they need grammatical rules.
communicative activities: getting students to perform drills may not be enough (heavily controlled
activity by the teacher), there must be occasions
where students can use the lang to communicate. many books were written about this – role
play, problem solving activities, drama techniques,
project work, discussions (they encourage students
to communicate). the dilemma is how much of these
activities should be used.
acquisition and learning: all children learn lang w/o
being taught. they learn lots of lang and in a subconscious way they pick it up and use the lang efficiently. students who come to lang classes are different from children who acquire mother lang in the
foreign country
subconscious acquiring: in the classroom – formal,
artificial, we cannot prepare a typical atmosphere,
most classes are in a hurry, no time to learn lang
gradually – conscious learning.
identifying grammar, problems and solutions:
quite a lot of structures and functions – less communication activities, stress on reading, listening (beginners); later on, more comm activities, less grammar (advanced learners).
function and form eg the present continuous tense:
past, repeated habit, plan → the same form has different functions, or one meaning by different forms:
i will see her tomorrow.
i am going to see her tomorrow.
i’ll be seeing her tomorrow.
i see her tomorrow.
i am seeing her tomorrow.
i am to see her tomorrow.
• teachers have to make decisions about what
structures/forms to teach and what function the
structure has to have.
• teacher should be clear about the form, grammatical form should be perfectly known by the
• patterns: we have to decide which pattern
should be used, we need to decide what structures or patterns to use to present a particular
grammatical point
• contrast between the langs: similarities / differences between L1 and L2
• exceptions and complications
• consult a reference in a grammar book
implication for teaching: predict problems, plan
how to operate them, have some suitable techniques,
mind the confusion from L1 (eg *“i am living here
since two years.”).
conclusion (grammatical item – present perfect simple tense):
pattern he has lived here for 6 years / since 1992
concept a present / current state starting in the past
problems contrast w/‘byvam’, confusion w/‘for’
and ‘since’
solutions contrast english and slovak to show the
difference, use time lines to explain tense, write
‘since’/‘for’ on the board and note the time expressions that can go w/them
presenting grammatical items:
• presentation: a stage at which students are introduced to the form, meaning and use of a new
piece of lang
• students learn the grammar they will need for
their most important experience of the new
• personalisation: stage at which students use
a new piece of grammar to see things which
mean something to them
• sometimes presentation takes place using personalisation immediately, sometimes personalisation is the final part of the presentation
• characteristics of a good presentation: clear, efficient, lively and interesting, appropriate, productive
grammar presentation: don’t demonstrate on students, much more useful is to draw a picture, ask
students to look at it and say the structure you want
to teach them. put the grammar in a situation, then
write it on the blackboard.
stages of grammar teaching:
1. draw a picture and give the example
2. give a model and ask the class to repeat
3. individual repetition
• the sound exists in L1, but not as a separate
• students get the sound right, but they haven’t
learned stress patterns of a word (misunderstanding)
getting students practice:
• check if students can hear and identify the
sound you want to teach them (representing information, minimal pairs - man/men)
• sounds: individual word, syllable, intonation
• telling students what to do
• sketch of mouth + details of the pronunciation
of the sound in terms of a tongue, teeth
• ideas for improving learners’ pronunciation
4. w/the help of the learners, write a statement on
the board next to the new structure
• imitation of the teacher (recorded model)
5. explanation stage, how the structure is formed
• recording of learner’s speech (natural model)
6. ask students to copy the sentence
• systematic explanation and instruction
7. give other situations and examples
• imitation drills, choral repetition of drills, varied repetition of drills
teaching pronunciation
• learning and performing dialogue
imitation is the essence of the learning process.
• learning by heart (rhymes, jingles)
sounds of lang/phonology: to be able to listen and
• jazz charts, tongue twisters
define sounds (phonemes) using phonetic representation.
• self-correction through listening to recordings
stress and rhythm: tone units (central stressed sylof one’s own speech
lables); in writing, it is important to use capital letpractising correct pronunciation (techniques)
intonation: rises and falls make the tune of utter• sound drills
ance, shown by symbols (&, %, &%, %&).
• word-association drills: antonyms – sick, sit,
flow of speech: eg ‘-ed’ suffix in past tense; difthin, more, well, stand
ferent sounds, stress, intonation affect one another
within the flow of speech; intonation affects how we
• transformation drills: carrying grammatical
hear stress, it’s more often a matter of raised or lowsignificance (plurals, comes, goes, works)
ered tone level w/a slight slowing down; a change in
• appropriate-response drills: point to individstress - a pattern of word will change its sounds as
ual to make positive/negative respond (“he isn’t
well (record as noun, record as verb); it’s useful to
joseph, he is paul.”)
be aware of how sounds, stress and intonation interact within utterances.
• question and answer drills and referred quesimproving learner’s pronunciation (objectives). obtion: learner focuses either on giving correct
jectives help not to achieve a perfect imitation of a
answers to teacher’s questions, or asks another
natural speech, but simply to be easily comprehenlearner a question the teacher has referred to
sible to other speakers.
why do students produce errors?
• particular sound doesn’t exist in learner’s L1
• constructing sentences: to the items arranged
in columns on board, students add proper inflections
2. to acquire the lang, you have to initiate the process and raise questions within yourself and
search out the answers for yourself.
• contradiction drills: learner corrects a statement made by the teacher, the statement contains its own item of missing
3. to acquire the lang, you have to go thru the process of making mistakes. if you pay attention
to your mistakes and the corrections, learning
is rapid.
• deduction drills: teacher presents some information to learners, then asks a question that requires from a student making a logical deduction from the received information
4. to acquire the lang, you need people w/whom
to share its use.
avoid talking about the lang. students must discover
• hidden pronunciation practice and real commu- how to use the lang thru their own experience.
nication: learners reveal to the teacher exactly draw on the student’s passive knowledge, help them
how well they do the pronunciation
to make it active. not to fill the student’s head w/new
facts, but to take what he knows and help him to
• stress and intonation
expand it.
• keep some principles as when teaching vocab- get the students involved. doing exercises where
students speak much more than the teacher (roleulary
playing, simulation exercises, problem-solving).
• go from easy to different items, from controlled
the teacher should consciously maintain control of
to free pronunciation
the exercises. to not only present information, exer• present clearly and understandably, practice in cises and a means for students to get feedback, but
also help them learn as quickly and easily as possivariety of ways
• make sure all lang occurs in meaningful con1. brief. to frame the exercise or define exactly
what task is expected.
• activities: choral repetition, correct someone
2. do. to carry out the given instructions.
else’s mistake, make a tape in the class, use
natural situation, have a stock char who al3. debrief. to go over what happened.
ways make mistakes, build up a dialogue,
use echoed questions, identify speaker’s atti- classroom atmosphere geared towards learning to
tude from his/her intonation (tired, bored), use communicate in the foreign lang. instrumental moblackboard drawings
tivation (to pass a test, etc.) is not good. an inte-
teaching speaking
speak the language being learned. learning to converse in a foreign lang requires frequent practice in
speaking and listening. to get a person to think in
the lang and to use it for communication we must
provide students w/sthing serious to think about. if
the teacher reverts to native lang every time he has
sthing serious to say, loses his best opportunities to
get the student to concentrate and to think in the foreign lang.
help students understand how they can acquire the
lang. teach students that
grative motivation is based on general interest in the
lang, attitudes toward the teacher.
teaching reading
reading is a multifaceted, complex skill made up of a
number of psych, phys, and soc elements. presently
too little attention is devoted to it. reading is the
most easily accessible skill in countries where english is not widely spoken, it requires only a text
a dictionary and the reader. unlike in an interaction w/a native speaker, an author will wait while
the reader looks up a word. it is important to step
beyond the textbook prose, students should choose
1. to acquire the lang, especially speaking skills, texts which interest them. 3 basic methods of learning to read:
you need to speak a lot
1. phonics: instruction in the correspondence between english letters and sounds
2. whole-word reading involves recognition of
single words representing objects
3. lang-experience approach: learners tell a brief
story or give a description or a comment,
teacher writes down, learners read the lang they
have spoken.
maturation, motivation and meaning
a level of cognitive maturation must be reached before the child is able to read. the age varies widely.
motivation must be present, benefits of a rich reading environment. meaning: the child must know the
content of the reading.
mature reading emphasises the need for active participation. reading is a long-distance discussion between a reader and an author, interaction between
lang and thought in reading.
mature reading strategies:
9. using textual-discourse devices. these provide
unity or coherence to a piece of writing. make
use of all the syntactic and rhetorical features
the author has provided.
10. synthesising knowledge. making use of previous knowledge.
reading as a separate skill should include activities
such as finding word groups and phrases, guessing
new words from local context, finding main and supporting ideas. since reading is primarily an individual activity teacher should provide a quiet time, talking about the content can come after.
teaching listening
listening is the ability to identify and understand
what others are saying, understanding a speaker’s
accent or pronunciation, grammar, vocabulary, and
grasping his meaning. willis lists micro-skills which
adjusting attention according to the material. she calls enabling skills:
not all reading matter is the same: some should
be read quickly w/o bothering about the details,
1. predicting what people are going to talk about
others require careful deliberate attention.
2. guessing at unknown words or phrases
using the total context as an aid to comprehen3. passive knowledge of the subject
sion. meaning lies in the total context of the
book (table of contents, etc.)
4. identifying relevant points, rejecting irrelevant
skimming. reading quickly to get an overall
idea, finding the main ideas of paragraphs.
5. retaining relevant points (note taking)
search reading. reader makes use of keywords
6. recognising discursive markers (oh, well, fior groups of synonymous words, looking for
repeated elements the present no new ideas or
themes (journals might contain many examples
7. recognising cohesive devices (link words, proto illustrate a few main ideas, reader can skip
these examples).
8. understanding diff intonation
predicting/guessing/anticipating. reader gues9. understanding inferred information (speaker’s
ses the meaning of unfamiliar words by looking
attitude, intonation)
at the context. on syntactic level the knowledge
of the lang enables the reader to extract meanwhat are the sources of listening problems?
ing w/o reading all the words in the sentence.
6. critical reading. reading between the lines,
looking for meaning behind the author’s words.
7. perceptive reading. giving attention to the supporting ideas that back up arguments. summarising main ideas, underlining, making notes.
8. scanning. looking for particular info, usually
facts that one has read recently. scanning the
pages of a newspaper to find a particular article.
1. the message.
many learners find it easier to read than to listen. listening passage comes into ear very fast.
also may contain street gossip, proverbs, situations unfamiliar to the student. in spontaneous conversation speakers frequently change
topics. while recorded messages can be played
many times, speech is not so easy to repeat.
linguistic features liaison – the linking of words
in speech when the 2nd word begins w/a vowel
(an orange) and elision – leaving out a sound
(suppose). colloquial words and expressions
such as stuff (material), guy (man) and slang.
2. the speaker. redundancy in our speech. false
starts, re-phrasings, self-corrections, elaborations, tautologies, “, you know”. for beginners
it may be harder to understand these. learners
tend to be used to their teacher’s accent.
3. the listener. unfamiliarity w/cliches, collocations → inability to predict a missing word or
5. detecting diffs
6. ticking off items
7. information transfer maps/pics/forms, etc.
8. paraphrase
9. sequencing give the right order
10. info search
11. filling in blanks
12. matching items that have the same meaning as
those they hear
4. physical setting. background and environmental noise. w/o gestures and facial expressions post-listening activities:
harder to understand the speaker’s meaning.
1. answering to questions
some solutions:
2. problem solving
1. the message. grade listening materials accor3. summarising
ding to student’s level, authentic materials
rather than idealised filtered samples. taste
4. jigsaw listening diff groups of students listen
oriented exercises to engage student’s interest,
to diff but connected passages, then they exhelp them learn listening skills subconsciously.
change info and complete story, etc.
provide diff kinds of input (lectures, radio, tv,
5. writing as follow-up to activity
interviews, etc.)
6. speaking as follow-up
2. the speaker. give practice in liaisons and elisions in order to get used to rapid speech. make
students aware of accents. grade redundancy in 7.10 teaching writing
the texts.
steps for learning a 2nd lang within a functional ap3. the listener. provide background and linguistic proach are:
knowledge. give students immediate feedback
1. motivation. students discover that a particular
on their performance. help students develop
linguistic structure or set of vocabulary forms
skills of listening for specific info, for attitude,
is required in order to carry out a classroom
pre-listening activities:
2. attention. having to carry out a task motivates
1. elicitation/discussion about the topic
the students to listen for the linguistic forms required to accomplish the task.
2. brainstorming
3. use. students use the linguistic forms immedi3. games
ately in the task at hand.
4. guiding questions
4. development of lang-specific abilities. by using
the linguistic forms immediately in a task, they
while-listening activities:
have time and opportunity to develop whatever
1. comparing w/prediction in pre-listening
lang-specific abilities necessary in order to internalise the new forms.
2. obeying instructions show comprehension by
phys movement, etc.
task has:
1. products necessary to cope successfully w/school
3. filling in gaps
4. repetition of utterances
1. english alphabet
2. phoneme-grapheme correspondence in english
for pronunciation
4. linguistic focus. the focus may be a new sentence
structure, a verb tense, new vocabulary, idioms, organisation of a type of paragraph, punctuation, or
sentence structures in english
any linguistic concept.
structure of short discourses such as friendly tasks take on an added richness when they are embedded within the context of a theme. some themes:
letters, ads, newspaper articles
friendly letter of invitation (audience: pen pal, funcmore formal discourses like business letters
tion: imagining, ling. focus: modal auxiliary would,
structure of paragraph (narrative p., descrip- letter parts such as salutation, closing).
tive p.)
7. formal essay
error analysis and correction
error is a systematic deviation when a learner
8. formal writing genres such as short story, po- has not learned something and consistently ‘gets it
wrong’, it’s deeply integrated; student believes that
most important are short discourses, these form what he/she is saying/writing is correct, or doesn’t
the transition from sentence structures to sequence know what the correct form should be, or knows
of sentences. typical short discourses include di- what the correct form should be, but is not able to
ary entries, ads, short speeches, friendly letters, get it.
news broadcasts, posters, short biographies, greet- mistake is an inconsistent deviation when a learner
sometimes uses one form and sometimes the other,
ing cards, jokes, riddles, songs, recipes, etc.
2. specific audience. the resultant product is directed sometimes he/she ‘gets it right’, but sometimes
to a specific audience. it may be the speaker itself, makes a mistake and uses the wrong form; the best
a friend, classmates, teacher, strangers. some prod- thing is to ask the student to try again to find out
whether it is an error, or a mistake; “making misucts and their audience:
takes is inevitable”.
lapse can happen to anyone anytime; it may be due
to lack of concentration, shortness of memory, or
greeting card
friendly letter
what causes errors?
family history
carelessness: often closely related to lack of motidesc. of home chores
vation, perhaps the materials and/or the style of the
book report
presentation is not suitable.
formal letter
L1 interference: skinner’s behaviorist theory of
poem in magazine
other classes
lang learning held that lang is essentially a set of
thank-you letter to museum strangers i’ve
habits. thus, when we try to learn new habits, the
director after visit
old ones will interfere w/the new ones → mother
letter to editor of
strangers i’ve
tongue interference. linguists nowadays believe that
local newspaper
not met
we don’t simply become conditioned to make responses, but rather to form hypotheses about what
3. functions of a task:
lang is and how it works, the “rules” are learned and
1. self maintaining justifying behaviour or claims modified according to further data from the lang to
which the learner is exposed to.
2. directing the actions of the self, collaborating
translation: word by word translation of idiomatic
in action w/others
expressions in the learner’s mother lang can produce
3. reporting on present and past experience
classic howlers (english: “i don’t mind”, german:
“it makes me nothing out”). while interference is
4. logical reasoning
largely unconscious in the mind of the learner, translation is a conscious activity. errors occur during a
5. predicting
discussion – students concentrate more on the mes6. projecting into the reactions of others
sage and not on the code they are using to express it
(eg the lang).
7. imagining developing a story
overgeneralisation: a blend of two structures in the
“standard” version of the lang, eg “we are visit the
zoo.” (continuous + simple present tense), “she must
goes.” (modal verb + 3rd person singular), “yesterday i walk to the shop and i buy a shirt.” (redundancy – blending of something that students have
learned earlier).
incomplete application of rules: first, the use of
questions in the classroom encourages students to
repeat the question or part of it in the answer. eg
teacher: “do you read much?” student: “yes, i read
much.”; teacher: “ask her where she lives.” student: “where you (she) lives?” also, the learner may
discover that he/she can communicate perfectly adequate using deviant forms.
material-induced errors: these are either ‘false’
concept, or ignorance of rule restrictions. eg the use
of present con tense in the wrong situation (unnatural context = pictures illustrating a sequence of actions; more appropriate context = a radio commentary of a football match, or a detective reporting over
the phone the action of a suspected).
are errors always bad?
positive aspects of errors:
• at least students are trying: by making errors
learners are testing out their ideas about the
lang, they are experimenting; making errors is
part of the learning process.
• by noting the errors that are made by students a
teacher can see what needs to be focused on in
the future lessons; teacher finds out how much
more practice is needed.
how can you anticipate and avoid errors?
basic rules of correcting: maintain a cooperative atmosphere, don’t humiliate, don’t echo
the error (certainly not in a mocking, astonishing way), guide your students to correct eventually themselves (rather than to give them the
correct version straight away).
• the students must know something is not accurate: let the students finish the utterance, don’t
interrupt their mind-stream.
• make a gesture (wave of the finger)
• use a less discouraging word like ‘nearly’;
black looks, ‘no!’ shouts are discouraging
• use eye-contact, gestures, voice
• the students must know where the error is: isolate for the student the part that is wrong: student: “my wife come yesterday.” teacher: “try
again.” won’t help, the student needs to know
that the word ‘come’ is incorrect use numbering of the words: second word, not ‘come’
but. . .
• use fingers: a row of students repeats each
• indicate where the problem is and see if a student can get it right
• the students must know what kind of error it
is: students need to know whether the problem
is grammatical, syntactical (eg missing word),
or phonetic (eg wrong stress in the word), a
teacher can say ‘verb’, ‘tense’, ‘word stress’,
‘wrong word’.
• use appropriate gestures (fingers indicate an
• students are likely to make less errors if the
unnecessary word, missing word, contraction)
lang has been presented well w/adequate highlighting, clarifying and checking of under• use the board to elicit the correct form
standing, if they have been given sufficient conwho corrects?
trolled practice form.
• if you know what might come up, you are likely
to be more alert to the errors that do come up.
• familiarise yourself w/all aspects of an item
of lang you are focused on (eg pronunciation
problems: write an item in phonetic script beforehand).
correction techniques
• the ability to correct sensitively, efficiently and
effectively is something that takes time to learn.
• self-correction: less dependent on the teacher;
always gives students the chance to correct
themselves; sometimes they need some assistance from a teacher in knowing where the mistake is, what kind of mistake it is.
• student-student correction: (peers correction)
w/a gesture, hold students’ attention and get
another student to help out advantages:
– all students are involved in the correcting
– makes the learning more cooperative gen- (excellent, no mistake), style (good, but remember
that contractions are used in formal letters), gram– reduces students’ dependence on the te- mar (good, just a couple of tense problems), use of
vocabulary (very good).
– increases the amount of time the students who corrects the written work?
listen to each other
– gives better students something to do
• teacher’s role: get another student carefully
(“not quite well, jan. do you know, peter?”,
even better is to use gestures); try to choose a
student who looks eager to help; always return
to the first student
• self-correction: underline errors, put symbols
on the margin in the appropriate place
• student-student correction: students comment
on each other’s work
• teacher correction: give them the correct version w/an explanation if necessary (note to
common errors to the whole group).
• teacher correction: if nobody in the class
knows, teacher may stop and tell it to the whole when is correction not appropriate?
class; if the meaning is clear, it should be
• when you try to build student’s confidence
enough to get the students to say it; get a stu• when you’re communicating w/a student as a
dent who made an error to say the correct verfriend
sion (“ok, again, the whole sentence/phrase.”)
• when you’re eliciting from students (echoing of
how much to correct? involve the whole class as
the correct form is useful)
much as possible in the correction process. spend
less time correcting what is a problem for one stu• when your main aim is to focus on the compredent, spend more time on problems common to the
hension of the text
whole group. spend a short time correcting some
items only and don’t try to get everything perfect
in one go (no over-correction). the most important 7.12 tests
thing is the correction of major errors as quick as
to obtain info. translation tests are deprecated. dicpossible.
tation is ok, essays ok. categories of tests:
when to correct? mostly depends on the aim of the
activity. include a note in your lesson plan (predic1. (a) knowledge
tion of possible problems). tell students the purpose
(b) performance
of correcting (“don’t be surprised, now i will correct
2. (a) subjective (measuring lang skill naturally
– essay, translation)
correcting written work: controlled written exercises: eg copying, dictations, exercises w/only one
(b) objective (multiple choice test)
right answer (the correct answers must be given); if
3. (a) productive (speaking, creative answers)
possible, ask students to compare their answers before you elicit the right answers (let them write the
(b) receptive (multiple choice, reading tests –
answers on the board). guided and free writing: the
rely on recognition)
feedback depends on the purpose: correcting each
4. (a) lang subskill test
error in a piece of ‘free’ writing can be very time
consuming for the teacher and discouraging for stu(b) communication skill test
5. (a) norm reference test (compare students to
encourage improvement: react as an interested reclassmates)
ader: “it was very interesting. i didn’t know you
visited greece.” comment on how well the writing
(b) criterion reference (compare them against
communicates: “it was clearly expressed and well
some standards)
argued.” focus on particular aspects such as spelling,
6. (a) discrete point test (very specific topic)
punctuation, use of tenses, use of linkers (self/peer
correction is appropriate in this case). comment sep(b) integrative (combining more subskills –
arately on different items within the work: layout
(a) proficiency
• increases the amount of students’ talking time
(b) achievement
• increases opportunities for real use of lang, to
communicate w/each other, provides cooperation
4 types of tests:
1. proficiency. designed to measure people’s ability in lang regardless of training. based on a
specification of what candidates have to be able
to do in the lang in order to be considered proficient (= having sufficient command of the lang
for a particular purpose).
2. achievement. directly related to lang courses.
how successful individual students have been
in achieving objectives.
• increases self-reliance in learning, it is not possible if a teacher acts as a controller
• is more dynamic than pair work
• gives a greater chance to solve a problem when
it arises
• is potentially more relaxing than work in pairs
• is more exciting
(a) final: at the end of a course of study.
should be based on some syllabus or objective.
• they may not always solve a problem
(b) progress: intended to measure the pro• students can switch to L1
gress students are making.
selection of group members:
3. diagnostic. to identify student’s strengths and
weaknesses, what further teaching is necessary.
• sociogram
4. placement. to provide info which will help to
place students at the proper stage of the teaching programme.
5. aptitude. lang gift, talent searching. predict
success in learning a 2nd lang.
pair work and group work
• group size (odd numbers)
• flexible groups (re-formed before they are split
• group has a leader (group organiser), speaker
(mini teacher), secretary
• personality of students (psychology training of
a teacher)
encourages students’ cooperation, motivation (atmosphere). increases the amount of students’ prac- ways of organising discussion groups:
tice. teacher: not a controller, acts as an asses• buzz groups
sor, prompter, resource. possible problems: incorrectness (accuracy is not so important as fluency);
• thearing: like a panel, students are interviewed
noise/indiscipline (pair work encourages commuby a panel of other students who have to make
nicative skills). solution: quality of the task we set
decision about the question
(instructions), our attitude during the activity (to all
pairs), the organisation of feedback (to see how suc• fishbowl: there are 5 chairs in the middle of the
cessful it was), the length of the activity is imporclass, 2 of them are empty, 3 are occupied w/the
tant (shouldn’t be too long), the type of pair work
students who know more than others, they start
depends on the type of activity the class is doing,
the discussion, they give their opinions (conintroduction of pair work should be simple, short
troversial); students from the outer circle come
(students have to be familiar w/it), decision about
tapping the middle students on the shoulders
how students are put in pairs (strong, weak). advan(everybody can get the place in he middle)
tages: it increases the confidence of weak students,
• network: each group receives a bowl of strings,
provides cooperation. disadvantages: students have
whoever is speaking gives the bowl to someto defeat on themselves, they may not always solve
body else; the net develops knowing who
a problem.
talked the most and who never talked
group work
• onion: two groups in circles, students in outer
circle are facing those in inner circle; after
the discussion everyone from the outer circle
moves his/her chair to the right (exchanging of
the partners)
• star: more groups, each group elects a speaker
who remains in the group, but enters into discussion w/speakers from other groups
• market: everyone talks to everyone else
role play
• make sure that students have understood the situation and their role cards
• do not worry about half-pairs which are not
participating in the activity, unless they are disturbing the others; condition is that you prepared everything what was necessary for the
role play
• do not use a role play that is too difficult or too
emotionally loaded
• if your students break into the L1, set up the
task more progressively (captive audience)
the participants interested either in themselves, or in
• always have a follow-up activity
other people in imaginary situations, the activities
• set a strict time limit
contain an element of “let’s pretend”; they should be
enjoyable, not to disturb emotions of the students.
framework for role play practice:
simulation: complex, lengthy, relatively inflexible;
• open-ended dialogues: students are free to departicipants normally discuss a problem w/a setcide how to develop the dialogues
ting that has been defined for them; there’s a simulated environment here (eg airport); students think
• mapped dialogues: functional clues for each
of themselves as people in real situations.
speaker on separate cards, there’s an informarole play can be a simulation, but not each simulation gap between them; eg invite someone to go
tion can be a role play.
out with you, suggest another possibility, conreasons for using a role play:
firm arrangements
• wide variety of experience can be brought into
the classroom; students can be trained in speaking skill in any situation
• students are in situations in which they are required to use and develop forms of lang necessary for social relationship
• role instructions: they describe the situation
and tell the participants how they should interact; eg bookshop situation – you go in a bookshop to buy a book, describe the author and the
title, ask the seller if he/she has the book, if the
book is not available, decide whether to order
• roles can prepare students for the specific roles
different roles for different students:
in their lives
• roles which correspond to a real need in stu• shy students are given a mask, they are liberdents’ life (doctor – patient, salesman)
ated by role play
• students play themselves in a variety of situa• role plays are fun, students use their imaginations of which they may/may not have direct
experience (customer complaining, passenger
asking for information); highly motivating
• fluency is being developed
hints for classroom management:
• distinguish between noise (positive) and chaos
• begin w/pair work rather than group work
• keep activity short, or students get used to it
• make sure your role play can be used w/different numbers of students
• few situations will be ever experienced directly,
but are easy to play, because we have such vast
indirect experience of them (tv journals)
• fantasy roles (fictive, imaginary, possibly absurd)
• role cards should be concise and should contain
essentials, you’d better decide who is who. scenario – description of the roles, what students
have to do (like for a movie), each moment is
described in details.
what to do about mistakes/errors?
• explain to students who are worried about the
errors that errors will be dealt with, you’re
aware of the ones they are making and you
won’t forget about them
3. teaching spoken communication skills. generates a need to speak (dialogue), emphasis on
4. the drama project. full scale staging of a play.
long term, increased competence in target lang.
small group of volunteers, time consuming
• you can/are able soon predict which will be the
most obvious ones; mention the rules and some what can drama achieve? emphasise the learner as
doer. can be used to present structures and vocabulinguistic structures before the activity
• walk around the classroom, listen to the stu- benefits of drama teaching: more acquisition than
dents talking and note the errors, you’ll deal learning, pronunciation, new vocabulary + strucw/them afterwards
tures, improved sense of confidence in student’s
• write the errors on the board, elicit the correct ability to learn target lang.
forms, provide some remedial exercise (a later teacher’s role: less dominant role w/o loosing respect/control, constant supply of stimuli, taking
drama is an umbrella term for activities which in- role of student:
volve an element of let’s pretend (role-play, simulaworst case
tion, lang games). however drama is when students
open minded
hostile to new
lacking interest
a. play themselves in an imaginary situation
unwilling to participate
b. play an imaginary person in an imaginary situindependence dependent
a good way of reading and producing the paralinguistic features of the culture group whose lang they
are learning.
the 6 elements of drama:
• surface reality: situation, problem, solution
• underlying reality: background, planning, emotions
if learning to take place, all 6 must be present. drama
is when we allow students explore the foundations
of surface reality. when we ask students to improvise a continuation of a story we are stimulating
their imagination and their intellects. drama is not
a theory, rather a technique to develop certain lang
skills. drama’s place in lang teaching:
1. as sthing enjoyable
2. as centre of the curriculum
4 areas of effective drama usage:
1. teaching the coursebook. in dialogs, role plays,
situations, games, songs
2. teaching the 4 skills. acquisition of correct pronunciation, rhythm, intonation, prosody
lesson plans
planning a lesson involves the determination of essential background information: who are the students, how old are they, what is their level of proficiency in english, what textbook is used, etc. structure of a lesson plan:
1. teacher’s name, date of presentation, estimated
time of lesson
2. the teaching point
3. pre-assessment activity (the reason why students need this particular lesson, can be a test
result, etc)
4. relationship to current unit (this lesson’s place
in a bigger context, can be none for special
5. pre-entry performance (what, if anything, was
covered in previous lesson(s) that will be applied in this one)
6. performance objectives (precise statement of
the behaviour expected of students to be able
to perform as a result of the lesson)
7. criterion level (lesson is considered successfully completed if this percent of students can
perform the objectives this percent of the time)
8. materials (textbook, handouts, audio-visual aids)
9. procedures 1 . . . n. according to the lesson. 1st
should be introduction, last conclusion. include
• a – aims
• t – teachability
• a – add-ons
• l – level
10. assignment (if any)
• i – your impression
11. contingency plans (alternative plans if sthing
goes astray)
• s – student interest
12. comments/self-evaluation
• t – tested
1. subject matter (topics)
textbook evaluation
good textbook should satisfy 3 conditions:
1. student needs
2. teacher needs
2. vocabulary/structures
3. exercises
4. illustrations
5. phys make up (colour, size, durability)
3. public needs
background info on students:
1. age range
2. level in english
3. sex distribution
4. level of general education
5. background langs
6. reason for studying
course syllabus:
1. emphasis on each skill
2. emphasis on each area (grammar, vocabulary)
3. attention given to mechanics (spelling, data)
institutional data:
1. typical class size
2. time, hours/week
3. physical environment
4. preferred dialect of english
5. national objectives
6. form of examination
analyses and judgement – c.a.t.a.l.i.s.t.:
• c – communicative
games and problem solving
games and game-like activities have an important
place in a theory of lang learning based on the developing of communicative competence.
we cannot expect co-replicate “real situations” in
the classroom, but the following activities do foster natural, creative, authentic lang behaviour once
the frame-work of rules and conventions has been
finally established.
a game provides genuine lang behaviour and involves the use of functional categories which will
have wider application.
in game-like activities, the learner is free to be him/herself; in role play he/she tries to be someone else
and student’s output tends to be equated w/teacher’s
input; while in games student’s output depends on
real interaction w/other learners within a prescribed
set of conventions.
the learner’s attention is diverted from the lang to
the task activity in hand.
such games facilitate acquisition of the foreign lang
rather than learning (acquisition is unconscious, peripheral, effortless, whole-person, deeply rooted;
learning is conscious effort, external to learner’s personality, shallow and relatively easily forgotten).
non-judgemental atmosphere, teacher has a peripheral position.
typology and examples
games involve conscious choice, entertain, outcome
(to be a winner, to result), appeal to affective part of
our consciousness, are aimed to create and utilise an
‘information gap’.
based on observation (+ memory) witness: remembering, reporting to the rest; students are shown an
item for five seconds; each student writes down what
he/she remembers; finally, they are shown an item
again, students compare the results, discuss them.
based on interpretation (+ guessing) blurred faces:
guessing; poor focus, students speculate what they
can see, then it becomes sharper and sharper, they
can see more and more. back writing: pairs; write
something on partner’s back w/a finger.
based on individual/group interaction name circle:
sit in a circle of ten; one person tells his/her first
name, invents profession; next one has to repeat it
and add information about him/herself; when it gets
back to the first one, he/she has to repeat the whole
board games sentences: you need some boxes, you
play w/a dice; sentences focus on some grammatical problem, some of them are incorrect; students
have to decide whether it’s correct or not; when they
land on a snake, they have to go back to the previous
sentence, a ladder gets them to the next sentence.
card games
pencil and paper games consequences: somebody
writes something on a piece of paper, top of the paper is folded, next student has to write something on
the paper, then it is passed to the next one, etc.
problem solving activities only a little involve conscious choice, not always entertain (fail to entertain), outcome (to solve), part of cognitive learning,
are aimed to create and utilise an ‘information gap’.
based on information transfer split dialogues, stories.
based on decision-making front page: decision making; editorials, succession of articles, front page.
ambiguous dialogues: students listen to some people, they have to speculate about the relationship,
the setting, what the people are talking about; the
aim is to solve the background.
based on logic paradoxes: a statement is said, students have to guess if it’s true or false; a text about
john and james is read, statements: “john wouldn’t
have to pay.”, “james would get his money back.” –
students guess which one is right.
criteria for choosing an activity:
• proportion of input (text, visuals, instructions,
apparatus) and output (what students will need
to do w/the input to be involved in oral or written interactions)
– high input + high output (front page, lot
of reading)
– low input + high output (blurred faces,
ambiguous dialogues)
– low input + low output (noughts and
– high input + low output (logical problems
which involve a long reading text, but can
be done individually w/o interaction)
• the need to create an information gap
• the need to involve students in doing as well as
• the need for the activity to be satisfying or interesting
• the need for satisfactory competition
more communication activities
• find the difference/similarities (based on pictures)
• describe and arrange (in pairs, set of pictures
from video)
• story reconstruction (eg the hospital case, picture story)
• poem reconstruction (similar to story reconstruction)
more problem solving activities
• students talk together to find a solution to a
problem task
• desert dilemma (survival)
• fast food (computers in the classroom)
warmers and ice-breakers
• humorous approach, to create good/positive atmosphere
• your name
• what we have in common
• musical association
another typology
• picture games
• psychology games
• magic tricks games
• sharing games
• board games
some visuals:
chalkboard and blackboard: the whole class can see
• sound games
it, texts and pics can be erased, adding or substituting possible, several students can work at the same
• story games
• word games
magnetic board: in our country blackboard and
magnetic board are combined into one. pictures are
• true/false games
placed using little magnets.
• memory games
wallpaper: illustrates scenes, people, objects. large
in size. normally they linger in the classroom longer
• question and answer games
than magnetic stuff or stuff on the blackboard.
• guessing and speculating games
picture flashcards: about 15 × 10 cm, used mainly
in oral work. easy to prepare, store and carry. shows
1 item.
7.18 visuals in lang teaching
word flashcards: instead of a pic there is a word.
visualisation in lang teaching is inevitable. help
learners to understand and remember better what video and tv: not available in all schools. technical
the teacher is talking about. it can be an object, barrier. 4 procedures for preparation:
thing, demonstration of concrete action, picture or
1. selection of a video extract (cca 2min)
anything students can see or observe. 10 groups of
teaching aids:
2. selection of the lang to be taught thru that extract
1. real objects skeleton, animal
3. preparation of the lesson plan, worksheets for
2. instruments
comprehension and follow-up
3. pictures of illustrations drawings, paintings,
4. familiarity w/the equipment used
photographs, posters
4. symbolic visualisation graphs, diagrams
5. static pictures overhead projector, slides
6. dynamic pictures video, tv
7. audio aids musical, instruments, audiotapes
8. tangible aids 3 dimensional, writing of blinds,
any object
9. literature textbook, dictionary
10. computer
basic considerations:
3 stages:
1. comprehension.
(a) set up the situation, pre-teaching, minimum lang
(b) set up active viewing task
(c) 1st video play w/o pause
(d) elicit answers to the active viewing task
2. lang study.
(a) 2nd video play stopping at selected points
(b) consolidate lang taught thru the video
• use them appropriately, adequately
(c) lang exercises and drills from textbook
• the younger, the more visuals
(d) 3rd video play for observation of behaviour
• use them in every part of the lesson
• teach students to observe
• lead students to analyse their observations
3. extension and transfer.
(a) transfer exercises using roleplay, followup
(b) extension into further reading and writing
using video w/beginners:
1. let the video present new words. active viewing lit as a resource: study world lit, list of authors.
critical concepts, lit conventions. reader as a partexercises
ner of author, interpreting the text. student centred
2. encourage students to respond to the screen
activities, teacher is only organiser. choosing texts
3. repeat the captions (model sentences that occur according to age, needs, lang competency. relevant
text for the reader. simplified or not simplified text?
on the screen)
how well is the simplified version? students must
4. teach vocabulary thru video
find enjoyment in the text. reading accurately, fluently. our aim is to produce a fluent and accurate
5. say what comes next. teacher can play the ilreader.
lustrative dialog again, freeze the picture and
breadth vs depth: is it better to have a broad range of
encourage students to say what comes next
texts for study or one in which students develop the
positives: visuals vary the pace of the lesson, en- capacity for reading? for breadth: reading lit effeccourages learners to lift their eyes from their book, tively depends on a wide experience of diff kinds of
allow teacher to speak less students participate lit texts, all of which describe diff situations in diff
more, abstract ideas (sound, temperature, motion, styles and conventions. for depth: it is always better
speed, size, weight, colour) can be taught.
to know one text well, rather than several texts on
negatives: too much visuals may confuse learners, the surface.
permanent overuse might damage a child’s creativ- lang competence vs lit competence: how much lang
ity and fantasy.
competence is required before lit text can be read in
breadth or depth? it is better to choose for teaching
lit texts which are not too far beyond the student’s
7.19 teaching lit
normal reading comprehension.
3 main reasons:
1. linguistic: lit texts offer genial samples of very 7.20 project work
wide range of style registers, and text types of helps to fill a gap which arises between the lang
various difficulty
learned vs lang needed in real life. improves coop2. methodological: lit text are open to multiple eration among students, personal involvement, motivation, it is a student centred approach.
interpretation between the reader and writer
3. motivational: genuine feel of lit texts is a powerful motivation for learners to bring personal
response from their own experience.
according to carter and long there are 3 reasons
which embrace a particular set of learning objectives
for teaching lit:
1. cultural model: lit expresses the most significant ideas and sentiments of human beings
and teaching lit represents a means by which
students can be put in touch w/a range of expression. teaching lit within a cultural model
enables students to understand and appreciate
cultures and ideologies diff from their own.
2. lang model: lit as an instrument in lang development, enrichment of student’s lang. can spoil
the pleasure.
3. personal growth model: help students to achieve engagement w/lit text. enjoyment and love
for lit. deep satisfaction in understanding hidden messages.
• full scale project:
1. classroom planning: discussion with teacher, lang needs
2. carrying out the project: outside the
classroom. interviews, recording (all 4
3. preview & monitoring: discussion + feedback activities
• motivating project activities:
– communicative activities (info-gap)
– role play (shopping)
– mini-real world tasks (getting train departures)
– video
– authentic materials brought to classroom
advantages: students are responsible for their own
learning, teacher is just consultant, coordinator. motivation from within, new, challenging, real.
developing a project
1. stimulus: initial discussion of the idea, com- trainee teacher becomes familiar w/the culture of the
classroom, better understanding of one’s own teachments + suggestions
2. objective (aim)
observation task is a focused activity to work on
3. use lang skills: lang students need in data col- while observing a lesson in progress. it focuses on
one/small number of aspects of teaching or learning.
requires the observer to collect data from the lesson
4. design of written material: graphs, questiona- and analyse it.
what can we observe?
5. group activities: pairs, groups, individual
1. learner
6. reading + presenting
2. language
7. organisation of matter: the end product of the
3. learning
4. the lesson
8. final presentation
5. teaching skills
possible problems:
6. classroom management
1. organisation: not regular lesson planning, extra work, finding suitable materials
7. materials & resources
2. monitoring: check systematically
young learners
mixed ability groups
3. personal problems: lack of interest, motivaforget this one.
tion, fear of being unable to cope w/new lang
classroom observation
a multifaceted tool for learning, its parts:
1. preparation – selection, focus, purpose
2. “during” the lesson
3. follow up – analyses, discussion, interpretation.
metacollecting: observation is a skill that can be
learned and improved w/practice.
who observes?
• trainee teachers
• teacher trainers
problems in mixed ability groups:
• some students are advanced & lost interest in
the classroom, others are weak
• some students always participate, some never
• bad students do not participate
• some students create complexes in weaker students
• most students can’t communicate in english,
can’t answer questions, don’t understand the
• teacher developers
• explain again, in native lang if needed
• trainee trainers
• diff groups/diff tasks
why observe?
• diff levels/diff groups
• we want to become better professionals
• diff levels/diff tests
• teacher’s profession development, growth
• ask advanced students to be more tolerant
• to give some guidance / structure
english for specific purposes: approach based on
learner’s needs, content and method are based on the
learner’s reason for learning.
• academic (eap)
• professional
– business
– social
– technological
• vocational
advantages: motivation, relevancy, usefulness, goal
language use: medium: speaking, reading, writing.
channel: telephone, face to face discourse: academic texts, lectures, informal conversation, manuals, catalogues.
variables of scientific texts:
1. linguistic part: vocabulary: 21% tech words,
70% subtechnical words, 9% functional words
(articles, modals).
syntax: passive voice, present simple, present
perfect, modal verbs, pronouns, articles, etc.
2. rhetorical part: precise and accurate descriptions, formal and informal definitions, constant
reference to data
3. conceptual part: knowledge of the concepts
and the subject
reading as an essential skill. skimming, scanning,
comprehension reading, critical reading, note taking.
translation as a
• checking device
• the 5th skill
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