The Virtual Theorist – a resource for studying literary theory

Over the summer I contributed to a project called The Virtual Theorist which aims to discuss and illustrate different approaches to the interpretation and analysis of literary texts. It introduces a variety of literary theories and shows how these theories can be applied when studying a specific literary text, in this case the poem ‘Goblin Market’ by Christina Rossetti.

My own contribution discusses the linguistic subdiscipline of Literary Linguistics or Stylistics and in the analysis of the poem I use a corpus stylistic methodology. While corpus stylistics is a methodology that has been applied, for example, in the study of novels and short stories, poems are a type of text that is usually not studied in this way. By using the tools available through WebCorp, I show how corpus linguistic means allow us to view a poem from a different perspective and add to our understanding of its themes, its use of word clusters or characterisation. You can find the introduction to Literary Linguistics, the analysis of the poem and a sample bibliography here: http://blogs.bcu.ac.uk/virtualtheorist/literary-linguistics/

(Note that this webpage was designed primarily for undergraduates.)

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