A cognitive-stylistic response to contradictions

Lizzie Stewart-Shaw


Teske’s paper places structuralist emphasis on the meaningfulness of contradictions and explores how these contradictions may affect readers’ processes of interpretation in postmodern fiction. While I agree with Teske’s analysis of the function of contradictions in the experience of reading postmodern fiction, I introduce a cognitive-stylistic perspective which complements Teske’s structuralist exploration of contradictions. I provide a linguistic analysis of a passage from The Unconsoled to demonstrate the usefulness of this complementary approach. I also consider how drawing on theoretical elements from cognitive stylistics as well as empirical approaches such as reader response may be useful in expanding Teske’s innovative analysis of contradictions.


Cognitive stylistics, contradictions, narratology, reader response

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