LINGUIST List 11.946

Tue Apr 25 2000

Disc: Literary Semantics

Editor for this issue: Karen Milligan <>


  1. John Reighard, Disc: Literary Semantics

Message 1: Disc: Literary Semantics

Date: Wed, 26 Apr 2000 00:23:54 +0100
From: John Reighard <>
Subject: Disc: Literary Semantics

Apparently I disagree with everyone!

I have no problem with the term "literary semantics". Semantics is a large
field whose main focus is the study of meaning in language. That some
people with a primary interest in literature might be interested in
studying the "meaning of language" in the particular context of literary
studies seems to me eminently plausible.

The "meaning of language" in the poetry of e. e. cummings is obviously
quite different from the "meaning of language" in the sonnets of
Shakespeare. I heard recently an interesting talk on the poetry of
Gertrude Stein focussing on what might be called the "non-meaning of

Sculpture is also a large field whose focus is (I suppose) the creation and
appreciation of three-dimensional objects. The material out of which such
objects can be made is surely one of the fundamental dimensions in which
these things can be seen. An article by John Updike in the latest New York
Review pays particular attention to the different materials used by the
late medieval sculptor Riemenscheider (alabaster, stone, pearwood...) and
the effect they have on the final product. Are we not here precisely in
the domain of "sculptural geology"?

John Reighard
D�partement de linguistique et de traduction
Universit� de Montr�al
CP 6128, Succ. Centre-ville
Montr�al, Qu�bec H3C 3J7
t�l : 514 343 6220
fax : 514 343 2284


245, rue d'Entraigues
37000 Tours
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