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Stylistics Week 5: Genre

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Stephen Pihlaja

on 22 January 2014

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Transcript of Stylistics Week 5: Genre

James Joyce, The Dead
What is genre?
 What are the empirical elements of genres that make them differ from others?
 How does the 'genre' of a text effect how it is read by others?
Activity 1
Read Simpson on point of view (26-30 & 196-201) and the Bakhtin and Bhatia readings on Moodle. Read the rest of ‘The Dead’.
For seminar
Identify all the interactions in the text. These could be implicit or explicit.
Think about each interaction in terms of a ‘speech genre’. What is the activity being accomplished? What are the roles the interactants are playing?
Comment on the different levels of ‘genre’ that are occurring here, in terms of the conversations within the short story.
Activity 2
Of course, they had good reason to be fussy on such a night. And then it was long after ten o'clock and yet there was no sign of Gabriel and his wife. Besides they were dreadfully afraid that Freddy Malins might turn up screwed. They would not wish for worlds that any of Mary Jane's pupils should see him under the influence; and when he was like that it was sometimes very hard to manage him. Freddy Malins always came late, but they wondered what could be keeping Gabriel: and that was what brought them every two minutes to the banisters to ask Lily had Gabriel or Freddy come.
 
“O, Mr. Conroy,” said Lily to Gabriel when she opened the door for him, “Miss Kate and Miss Julia thought you were never coming. Good-night, Mrs. Conroy.”
 
“I'll engage they did,” said Gabriel, “but they forget that my wife here takes three mortal hours to dress herself.”
 
He stood on the mat, scraping the snow from his galoshes, while Lily led his wife to the foot of the stairs and called out:
 
“Miss Kate, here's Mrs. Conroy.”
 
Kate and Julia came toddling down the dark stairs at once. Both of them kissed Gabriel's wife, said she must be perished alive, and asked was Gabriel with her.
 
“Here I am as right as the mail, Aunt Kate! Go on up. I'll follow,” called out Gabriel from the dark.
 
He continued scraping his feet vigorously while the three women went upstairs, laughing, to the ladies' dressing-room. A light fringe of snow lay like a cape on the shoulders of his overcoat and like toecaps on the toes of his galoshes; and, as the buttons of his overcoat slipped with a squeaking noise through the snow-stiffened frieze, a cold, fragrant air from out-of-doors escaped from crevices and folds.
 
“Is it snowing again, Mr. Conroy?” asked Lily.
 
She had preceded him into the pantry to help him off with his overcoat. Gabriel smiled at the three syllables she had given his surname and glanced at her. She was a slim; growing girl, pale in complexion and with hay-coloured hair. The gas in the pantry made her look still paler. Gabriel had known her when she was a child and used to sit on the lowest step nursing a rag doll.
 
“Yes, Lily,” he answered, “and I think we're in for a night of it.”
 
He looked up at the pantry ceiling, which was shaking with the stamping and shuffling of feet on the floor above, listened for a moment to the piano and then glanced at the girl, who was folding his overcoat carefully at the end of a shelf.
 
“Tell me. Lily,” he said in a friendly tone, “do you still go to school?”
 
“O no, sir,” she answered. “I'm done schooling this year and more.”
 
“O, then,” said Gabriel gaily, “I suppose we'll be going to your wedding one of these fine days with your young man, eh?”
 
The girl glanced back at him over her shoulder and said with great bitterness:
 
“The men that is now is only all palaver and what they can get out of you.”
 
Gabriel coloured, as if he felt he had made a mistake and, without looking at her, kicked off his galoshes and flicked actively with his muffler at his patent-leather shoes.
Heteroglossia
From Bakhtin M. (1986) Speech genres and other late essays, Austin: University of Texas Press.
Speech Genres
http://livrodecabeceiradanina.blogspot.co.uk/
Genre
WEEK 5
Bahtia (1999) on Genre
Bhatia's (1999) approach identifies four elements which contribute to genre: purposes (the goals and communicative practices of a community), products (the textual artefacts), practices (discourse practices and procedures), and players (members of the discourse community).
Key Point
Speech genres are macro-level descriptions of regularities resulting from regular interactions on a micro scale.
Key Question
Complex systems and speech genres have no central controlling agent, but literary works do...
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Key Point
Speech genres are macro-level descriptions of regularities resulting from regular interactions on a micro scale.
Heteroglossia
http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/heteroglossia
a diversity of voices, styles of discourse, or points of view in a literary work and especially a novel
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