By Richard Bradford
This introductory publication takes the reader via literary background from the Renaissance to Postmodernism, and considers person texts as paradigms which could either mirror and unsettle their broader linguistic and cultural contexts. Richard Bradford offers distinct readings of person texts which emphasize their relation to literary heritage and broader socio-cultural contexts, and which take note of advancements in structuralism and postmodernism. Texts include poems via Donne, Herbert, Marvell, Milton, Pope, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Blake, Keats, Hopkins, Browning, Pound, Eliot, Carlos Williams, Auden, Larkin and Geoffrey Hill.
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Extra info for A Linguistic History of English Poetry (Interface)
We naturalise literary texts by first identifying their formal features and classifying their genre (poem, novel or short story, or more specifically regular or free verse) and then by considering how this particular form of linguistic organisation can absorb and restructure meaning. The conventional features of poetry are naturalised when we translate our initial impression of the multi-dimensional effects of a poem—its rhyme scheme or its metrical pattern in conflict with its syntactic structure for instance —into a prose description of how these effects occur and of the variety of meanings generated from them.
It is the purpose of this study to offer a productive analysis of the minutiae of poetic form—the principal topic of linguistic metrics—in relation to its broader aesthetic, linguistic and historical contexts, and we might begin by giving some attention to a formula developed by Jakobson in ‘Linguistics and Poetics’. HISTORY, CONTEXT AND TEXT This takes the form of two diagrams that seek to represent, respectively, the relationship between the intrinsic and contextual properties of any linguistic message and the specifically literary properties of a single message.
To address this paradoxical relation between text and context we should return to Jakobson’s models of the speech act. Throughout the play the contact-code functions are thrown into a state of continuous change and interplay. In the exchanges between Angelo and Isabella both seem to be addressing the same fundamental issues of life and justice (II ii and II iv), from, necessarily, different perspectives. But at the same time their adherance to the same pattern of compositional and performative rules compromises their claims upon separateness and individuality and reduces them to components of a single text.