Author: Aunty Muriel

What is literature?

Literature, s. learning, skill in letters. Dr Johnson’s 1755 Dictionary This definition of ‘literature’ provided by Dr Johnson was penned in the middle of the eighteenth century. Here he is as played by Robbie Coltrane in the third Blackadder series: This is such a clever episode, and it’s one of my favourites. The line which makes me…

Focalisation in Chaucer and Swift

In the following exercise, I’ve made use of a focalisation framework to examine passages from Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales and Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels. The passages are reproduced in full below. Text 1: Geoffrey Chaucer The Canterbury Tales General Prologue lines 309-330: The Sergeant of the Law 309 A Sergeant of the Lawe, war and wys, 310…

Schema theory, universal minds and the impossibility of the characterless character: a study of Katherine Mansfield’s ‘The Man Without A Temperament’

Storyworlds are necessarily incomplete and work in recent years has investigated how the reader manages to plug the gaps. Schema theory (Culpeper, 2001; Schneider, 2001; Semino, 1997) and Palmer’s twelve-point universal minds checklist (2007) complement one another in that both describe the reader’s gap-filling activities in the creation of mental models which make up the…