More than Meets the Eye? The Problem with Comparative Stylistics

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serval:BIB_8076E2315199
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Article: article from journal or magazin.
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Title
More than Meets the Eye? The Problem with Comparative Stylistics
Journal
Letteratura e Letterature
Author(s)
Philippe Gilles
Publication state
Published
Issued date
2021
Number
15
Pages
69-81
Language
english
Abstract
Comparative literary stylistics has very little to do with what is usually called ‘comparative stylistics’, which concentrates on the expressive inclinations articulated in this or that idiom, often considered or interpreted in the light of the ‘genius’ of languages when not of the ‘people’. On the basis of selected examples, the present essay contends, first and foremost, that such a perspective distorts entirely the comparison between literary practices which cannot be downscaled to the specificity of the languages they use. By way of illustration, it is worth emphasizing that, if present-tense narrative in the French novel emerged much earlier than in English prose, the reasons of such precedence are definitely not linguistic. The second part of the essay builds on what has been gained in the first one and focuses on a case-study: comparing a few lines written by T. S. Eliot in 1926 and their translation into French one year later, the essay will show that their difference is only marginally related to the disparity of languages and may only be captured though a leap into complexity and an awareness of stylistic practises, values and imagination as they were played out on each side of the Channel in the mid-1920s.
Create date
20/02/2021 16:08
Last modification date
10/03/2021 8:09
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