The Stuff of Literature: Physical Aspects of Texts and Their Relation to Literary Meaning
The total meaning of a work of literature derives not only from what the words mean, but from what the text looks like. This stuff of literature, graphic substance or the physical raw material, is explored here in Levenston's comprehensive survey.
Levenston discusses the main literary genres of poetry, drama, and fiction, and the extent to which they may be said to exist primarily in written or spoken form, or both. He then examines spelling, punctuation, typography, and layout, the four graphic aspects of a text which an author can manipulate for additional meanings. Also explored are the problems raised for translators by graphically unusual texts--and by the possibility of producing graphically unusual translations--and some of the solutions that have been found.
A wealth of examples and analysis is offered, including poetry from Chaucer to Robert Graves and e. e. cummings; fiction such as Tristram Shandy, Ulysses and Finnegans Wake; works from Samuel Richardson to Ronald Sukenik; drama from Aristophanes to Bernard Shaw, and Shakespeare. Attention is also paid to graphic contributions in other literary traditions, from the Hebrew of the book of Psalms to Guillaume Apollinaires's "Calligrammes".
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acrostic alternative anthology Anthony Burgess Anthony Hecht archaic spelling archaism ballad beginning Brian Patten capitals Catullus century chapter choice Collected Poems colon comma concrete poetry context conventional Cummings's D. H. Lawrence deviant spelling deviation devices drama E. E. Cummings edition English example eye dialect Fantastica fiction final Finnegans Wake foregrounding French full stop function genres grammatical graphic graphicology Hebrew interlanguage intonation italics James Joyce Joyce Joyce's language layout letters lexical linguistic literary texts literature lyric meaning modern narrative normal norms nouns novel Ogden Nash passages pattern pauses phonological play poet poetic precise printed as verse pronunciation prose quotation quoted reader rhyme Robert Graves Roman Roy Fuller semantic semicolon sentence shaped poem sound speakers speech and writing spoken stanza Sterne Sterne's story style suggest syllables tape tion translation Tristram Shandy typeface typographical Ulysses University Press utterance voice words written text
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