Difficulty in Poetry

A Stylistic Model

Authors: Castiglione, Davide

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  • Provides an innovative contribution to the stylistics of poetry
  • Presents an essentialist definition of ‘difficulty’
  • Applies this definition to a selection of 20th and 21st century Anglo-American poems
  • Offers an original framework for the analysis of difficulty in poetry that combines analytical tools from literary theory and cognitive psychology
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eBook $84.99
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  • ISBN 978-3-319-97001-1
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  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $109.99
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-3-319-97000-4
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  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
About this book

This book theoretically defines and linguistically analyses the popular notion that poetry is ‘difficult’ - hard to read, hard to understand, hard to engage with. It is the first work to offer a stylistic and cognitive model that sheds new light on the mechanisms of difficulty, as well as on its range of potential effects. Its eight chapters are organised into two thematic parts. The first traces the history of difficulty, surveys its main scholarly traditions, addresses related themes – from elitism to obscurity, from abstraction to intentionality – and introduces a wide array of analytical tools from literary theory and cognitive psychology. These tools are then consistently applied in the second part, which includes several extended analyses of poems by canonical modernists such as Ezra Pound, Wallace Stevens and Hart Crane, alongside those of postmodernist innovators such as Geoffrey Hill, Susan Howe and Charles Bernstein, among others. This innovative work will provide fresh insights and approaches for scholars of stylistics, literary studies, cognitive poetics and psychology.

About the authors

Davide Castiglione is a lecturer in the Department of English Philology at Vilnius University, Lithuania. Author of two poetry collections, and a specialist in the poetics and stylistics of poetry, his research has been published in the Journal of Literary Semantics and in Language and Literature.

Reviews

“Castiglione’s work is a triumph of clarity and rigour in a field all too often plagued by vagueness. His comprehensive account of prior approaches to poetic difficulty is both respectful and critical. He then demonstrates, via experiments and clear exposition, how we can investigate a complex literary phenomenon such as poetic difficulty without sacrificing scientific standards.” (Lesley Jeffries, Professor of English Language and Linguistics, University of Huddersfield, UK)

Table of contents (9 chapters)

Table of contents (9 chapters)

Buy this book

eBook $84.99
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-97001-1
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $109.99
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-3-319-97000-4
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Difficulty in Poetry
Book Subtitle
A Stylistic Model
Authors
Copyright
2019
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s)
eBook ISBN
978-3-319-97001-1
DOI
10.1007/978-3-319-97001-1
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-319-97000-4
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XVI, 386
Number of Illustrations
25 b/w illustrations
Topics