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Title:Verbal Irony in the Short Fiction of Charles Nodier: A Computer-Assisted Study (France)
Author(s):Ponterio, Robert
Department / Program:French
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Literature, Romance
Abstract:This dissertation examines the effects of verbal irony, from the point of view of reader-response and cognitive theory, on the interpretation of a literary text. The analytical techniques developed are then applied to the short stories of Charles Nodier. A careful comparison of significant recent studies of the classification and analysis of irony, both literary and non-literary, from a variety of critical perspectives, serves as the basis for the elaboration of a system of classification schemes involving linguistic and contextual indicators, actantial distribution, and rhetorical strategy. The influence of these elements on the interpretation of ironic enunciations by the reader can then be evaluated in terms of the cognitive processes involved in the integration of the perceived text into the reader's contextual framework. Interpretation of irony depends on the recognition of an incongruity between the apparent meaning of an enunciation and the expectations generated by the receiver's model of the speaker. This emphasis on the importance of cognitive model building related to actantial roles facilitates the description of that irony which is intended by an enunciator using the words of a character or narrator who is not self-conscious.
Since the data include a wide variety of information about a large number of enunciations, the study describes in detail the development of a computer tool for managing data about stylistic devices in literary texts.
In Nodier's short fiction, irony serves primarily to influence the reader's feelings towards societal attitudes and secondarily to increase the reader's sympathy for the enunciator of the text. By manipulating group associations, the reader is brought to disdain the pedantic self-assuredness of nineteenth century positivism and to empathize with the victims of powerful groups who believe in their own superiority. Irony which targets the speaker or the text itself acts to soften the reader's criticism by encouraging a dissociation from unsympathetic critical opponents.
Issue Date:1987
Description:365 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1987.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8711853
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-16
Date Deposited:1987

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