(Im)Politeness in McEwan's Fiction: Literary Pragma-Stylistics (Hardcover)
This book is a pragma-stylistic study of Ian McEwan's fiction, providing a qualitative analysis of his selected novels using (im)politeness theory. (Im)politeness is investigated on two levels of analysis: the level of the plot and the story world (intradiegetic level) and the level of the communication between the implied author and implied reader in fiction (extradiegetic level). The pragmatic theory of (im)politeness serves the aim of internal characterisation and helps readers to better understand and explain the characters' motivations and actions, based on the stylistic analysis of their speech and thoughts and point of view. More importantly, the book introduces the notion of "the impoliteness of the literary fiction" - a state of affairs where the implied author (or narrator) expresses their impolite beliefs to the reader through the text, which has face-threatening consequences for the audience, e.g. moral shock or disgust, dissociation from the protagonist, feeling hurt or 'put out'. Extradiegetic impoliteness, one of the key characteristics of McEwan's fiction, offers an alternative to the literary concept of "a secret communion of the author and reader" (Booth 1961), describing an ideal connection, or good rapport, between these two participants of fictional communication. This book aims to unite literary scholars and linguists in the debate on the benefits of combining pragmatics and stylistics in literary analysis, and it will be of interest to a wide audience in both fields.
About the Author
Urszula Kizelbach is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Studies in Culture at the Faculty of English, Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, Poland. She specialises in literary pragmatics, in particular the pragmatic analysis of Shakespearean drama and contemporary fiction. She published a book on (im)politeness and power in politics in Shakespeare's histories titled The Pragmatics of Early Modern Politics (2014). She is a Polish Ambassador of the Poetics and Linguistics Association. She teaches stylistics, Shakespeare, the history of British literature and translation.