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Literature in the Reader: Affective Stylistics

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Faith Shaffner

on 8 December 2014

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Transcript of Literature in the Reader: Affective Stylistics

Fish, Stanley. "Literature in the Reader: Affective Stylistics." New Literary History: A Journal of Theory and Interpretation 2.1 (1970): 123-162. MLA International Bibliography. EBSCO. Web. 29 Mar. 2011.
Reading is an activity-- it
cannot take place without
a reader!
People pay little attention
to what language does,
instead paying attention to the results of the language. But reading is
a process.
That Judas perished by hanging himself, there is no certainty in Scripture: though in one place it seems to affirm it, and by a doubtful word hath given occasion to translate it; yet in another place, in a more punctual description, it maketh it improbable, and seems to overthrow it.
Lots of
Double Negative
Response: Any and all
of the activities provoked by a string of words
The temporal flow
of reading
Phrase Example One Differently
Unsettling Experience
or Self-Satysfying Experience
Slow Down Reading
Meaning as Event
Philosophical issues with pretending that a verbal object can be pinned as a repository of meaning only.
Documents that pretend
to "make sense" carry
the larger message that
sense can be made. They confirm and reflect the
an ordinary position towards the world.
There is no need for distintions between ordinary or poetic language with this method: a definate benefit, considering all of the ink spilled on this subject.
Sentences can give, and take way, a sense of "something."
Our culture's willingness-- encouragement, even-- to accept summary, abstractions, and interpretations as the same thing as experience.
to Possible
Who is the reader?
The Informed Reader
Fish reflects
on his predecessors
Best Conclusion in an Academic Essay Ever
That Judas perished by hanging himself, there is no certainty in Scrip-ture: though in one place it seems to affirm it, and by a doubtful word hath given occasion to translate it; yet in another place, in a more punctual description, it maketh it improbable, and seems to overthrow it.
Nor did they not perceive the evil plight.
"There is no certainty that
Judas perished by hanging himself."
That clear perpetual outline of face and limb is but an image of ours.
Wow, everyone in the office asks if I’m well. I didn’t look sick. I didn’t feel sick. So, why do people think that I’m sick? People look at me like I’m a dead snake in the desert with the buzzards circling around me. What could possibly have them believing that I’m ill?
Total number of words:
Level of Diction:
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Total number of simple sentences:
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Total number of exclamatory sentences:
Total number of interrogative sentences:
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Total number of Nouns:
Total number
of Pronouns:
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Total number of Prepositions:
Any tropes:
Any schemes:
Any other ornaments:
all alike,
no season knows
nor clime,
nor hours,
which are the rags of time
How does this sentence affect you
as the reader? What overall
feeling does the sentence
give you? What expectations
does the sentence structure create?
Are those expectations fulfilled?
How could you summarize this
sentiment? Would it be the same?
How does knowing this help you
understand poetry?

John Donne, "The Sun Rising," Poems (1633)
“Unable are the loved to die,
for love is immortality...”

“The "Shoot Maurice" moment
captures much of what makes
Watch Dogs so frustrating.
It is both a game that makes
you shoot Maurice, and a game
that attempts to subvert that
impulse by surprising you
(and Maurice) with an empty gun.
It is both fresh and rote,
both interesting and profoundly boring.”
"I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed." –Michael Jordan
“I should have been a pair of ragged claws/Scuttling across the floors of silent seas.” -T. S. Elliot
“Never to suffer would never to have been blessed.” - Edgar Allan Poe
Confucious said, "the man who says he can and the man who says he can not... Are right."
“By failing to prepare, you are preparing for failure.”
- Benjamin Franklin
“Today I will do what others won't, so tomorrow I can accomplish what others can't” -Jerry Rice
Do or do not… there is no try. -Yoda
William Wallace: “Aye. Fight and you may die. Run, and you'll live... at least a while. And dying in your beds, many years from now, would you be willing to trade all the days, from this day to that, for one chance, just one chance, to come back here and tell our enemies that they may take our lives, but they'll never take... OUR FREEDOM!” –Brave Heart
"Some men live their life for profits alone, that very same man lives his life all alone."
“Watch your thoughts for they become words.
Watch your words for they become actions.
Watch your actions for they become habits.
Watch your habits for they become your character.
And watch your character for it becomes your destiny.
What we think, we become.
- Margret Thatcher
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