Resonance and Absence: A text world analysis of “Tuonela” by Philip Gross

McLoughlin, Nigel F ORCID: 0000-0002-0382-6831 (2019) Resonance and Absence: A text world analysis of “Tuonela” by Philip Gross. New Writing: The International Journal for the Practice and Theory of Creative Writing, 16 (1). pp. 89-99. doi:10.1080/14790726.2018.1511735

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Text World Theory, originally developed by Paul Werth and further augmented by Joanna Gavins, offers a rich analytical framework to understand how readers create mental representations of fictional worlds from language; how other worlds which represent unrealised states of affairs may be created from the original world, and how the reader may be cued to attend to these. Peter Stockwell has suggested a model for literary resonance whereby attended entities in texts can, even when unattended, maintain a resonant function and make their absence from attention felt as a gap. In the essay that follows I use a cognitive stylistic framework constructed from Text World Theory and Stockwell’s model of literary resonance to analyse the various worlds created in Philip Gross’ poem ‘Tuonela’, and how the attentional movements between these worlds help the poem to function as a liminal space where the process of crossing boundaries creates a resonant absence strongly signalling a sense of loss, but also maintaining a positive accessible presence for the world of the dead, even though the language used is suffused with negation. I will also draw some conclusions about the relevance of cognitive stylistic analysis to creative writers.

Item Type: Article
Article Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: "Tuonela”; Philip Gross; Poetry; Craft; Reading; Cognitive stylistics; Liminality
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN0080 Criticism
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Creative Arts
Research Priority Areas: Culture, Continuity, and Transformation
Depositing User: Anne Pengelly
Date Deposited: 20 Jun 2018 15:28
Last Modified: 31 Aug 2023 08:54

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