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College Literature - Spring 2006

  • Issue Number: Volume 33 Issue 2
  • Published Date: Spring 2006
  • Publication Cycle: Quarterly

If you think literary criticism couldn't possibly appeal to anyone but other writers of literary criticism, this issue of College Literature  may change your mind. Serious readers and writers of poetry will be interested in Nigel Fabb and Morris Halle's theory of metrical verse, presented in their essay “Metrical Complexity in Chrisinta Rosetti's Verse.” Fabb and Halle use a structure they call a metrical grid to demonstrate that meter and rhythm (“the performed rhythms of the line”) are distinct from each other. The complex relationship between the line's metrical representation and its perceived rhythms create the basis of the aesthetic experience of metricality, they argue. While it's aimed at literature teachers, particularly teachers of fiction, Elana Tapia's essay “Beyond a Comparison of Two Distinct Things; or What Students of Literature Gain from a Cognitive Linguistic Approach to Metaphor” is a useful essay about the importance of the cognitive or conceptual view of metaphor (as opposed to more traditional views) for anyone interested in considering how language works to mask and to illuminate our understanding of the world. Oliver Mason and Rhiannon Platt's essay on the lexical patterns in George W. Bush's 2002 State of the Union Address, “Embracing a New Creed: Lexical Patterning and the Encoding of Ideology,” is riveting, and I do not exaggerate. The authors, who examine “how certain patterns of usage are employed to convey meaning beyond the stated propositions” certainly have me convinced that training in linguistics should be part of every citizen's education. Anyone who has ever worked in academia will appreciate Charles J. Stivale's essay, “Tenure and its Denial: Facing the Winter Years and Beyond,” and the piece offers some relief from the important, but dense work of the articles which precede and follow it. [] –Sima Rabinowitz

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Review Posted on August 31, 2006

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