Corpus-Informed Stylistic Analysis of James Joyce’s Eveline

Corpus-Informed Stylistic Analysis of James Joyce’s Eveline BY fffffffff97 In James Joyce’s short story, ‘Eveline’, a young woman Is thinking about a new life away from an unhappy existence which Involves caring for a vlolent father. In the story, Eveline is to elope with Frank to Buenos Aires, but Eveline tails to join him on the night boat. This story has attracted much critical attention. In particular, commentators have picked up on the faint clues throughout that Eveline is not going to leave her home.

It is as though Eveline’s subconscious is communicating this while he Is consciously reflecting on whether to elope with Frank.

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But how can such clues be Identified in d systematic way whilst responding to the familiar charges made by Stanley Fish that stylistic analysis and interpretation Is arbitrary and circular? In this article, I perform a corpus-informed stylistic analysis of ‘Eveline’ In order to reveal some of these subconscious Intimations whilst reducing as much as possible arbitrariness and circularity in analysis and interpretation. To do so, build on formal insights into Eveline’ provided in Michael Stubbs’s corpus-informed analysis by roceeding toa more functional exploration of the story. cognitive stylistics the future of stylistics? To answer this question in the essay that follows, I will briefly discuss Elena Semino and Jonathan Culpeper’s Cognitive Stylistics (2003b Paul Simpson’s Stylistics (2004), and a recent essay by Michael Burke (2005). However, because questions are Ilke trains – one may hide another – any discussion of the future of stylistics raises Intractable questions about stylistics Itself, French students of stylistics, for example, wlll come across definltlons of the discipline like the ollowing.

According to Brigitte BL]ffard-Moret, “si les definitions de [la stylistique] – que certains refusent de consid©rer comme une science ” sont divergentes, toutes admettent que son propos est l’analyse et l’interpr©tation des faits langagiers, essentiellement dans un texte litt©raire” (2000: 5). For Georges Molini©, “l’objet de la stylistique c’est l’©tude des conditions verbales, formelles, de la litt©rarit©” (1997: 3). Meanwhile, according to Anne Herschberg Pierrot, “La d©marche du commentalre tylistlque consiste ? montrer – proc©d©s lingulstlques du texte Peppul ” la valldlt© d’une hypothese d’lnterpr©tatlon” (1993: 281).

For students reading stylistics textbooks In English, In Simpson’s styllstlcs they would read that “[s]tyllstlcs Is a method ot textual interpretation in which primacy ot place is assigned to language” (2004: 3), and in Peter Verdonks Stylistics (2002) they would find stylistics called “the study of style, which can be defined as the analysis of distinctive expressions in language and the description of its purpose and effect” (2002:4).

While Bufford-Moret Is right to admit that deflnltlons of stylistics may be divergentes, what the French and English definitions above have In common Is their use of terms such as analysis, study, Interpretation.

and commentary. But although these terms are commonly used In definitions of stylistics, they are not at all synonymous That Is why the definitions above remind us that stylistics faces several problems. First, as Buffard-Moret suggests, some have questioned the scientific status of stylistics. tylistics a scientific foundation was challenged by Stanley Fish in his famous 1980 ssay, “What Is Stylistics and Why Are They Saying Such Terrible Things about It? ” Fish felt that those in stylistics harbored a desire to be scientific although criticism, even if grounded in linguistics or the language sciences, was not itself scientific. Therefore, those whom Buffard-Moret suspected of denying stylistics the status of science might have been adhering to Fish’s critique. Second, despite Molini©’s emphasis on “la litt©rarit©,” the language of literature is not the only kind of language that stylistics can analyze.