Mushtaq Stylistics Notes - H. Widdowson Chapter-1 Aims and perspectives Stylistics is linguistics analysis of text. When we say text what do we mean by that? Which text? Here text may include a poem and when we go for literature analysis linguistically we treat literature as text. When we focus on literary criticism of literature then we treat literature as discourse.
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Such an approach seeks to show how the use of linguistic patterns creates a form of communication which conveys the unique reality of the individual vision. In Chapter 1 I made the claim that an approach of this kind is of particular value for the study of literature as a subject.
My purpose in this and the succeeding chapter is to substantiate this claim. In the present chapter I shall try to show how the approach that has been described can indicate how the subject of literary studies might be defined and in the chapter that follows I shall discuss a number of ways in which the subject might actually be taught in the classroom.
This chapter, then, is concerned with certain pedagogical principles and the next with some of the pedagogical practices which might realise them.
It might of course be objected that there is no need to define literary studies as a subject by reference to stylistics since teachers already have a clear enough idea as to what the aims and procedures of a literature course should be, even though these might not have been defined in terms of explicit principles.
There are two points to be made here, I think. The first is that although individual teachers may often work out a way of teaching literature as a subject, their own experience as students and the type of examination for which they must prepare their pupils will tend to make them define literature as a subject with reference only to literature as a discipline. The teacher and examiner of literature will take his cue from the literary scholar just as the teacher and examiner of language will take his cue from the linguist, the assumption being that in each case the subject is a simplified and abridged version of the discipline to which it is most obviously related.
This is not surprising since it is still generally true to say that the teacher of language and literature has no training other than what he might acquire incidentally in studying for his first degree, so that his only guide as to what and how to teach to others is what and how he was taught himself and first degree courses are again, generally speaking discipline-based.
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Stylistics and the Teaching of Literature by Widdowson H. G
Stylistics and the Teaching of Literature