Article published in:Humane Readings: Essays on literary mediation and communication in honour of Roger D. Sell
Edited by Jason Finch, Martin Gill, Anthony Johnson, Iris Lindahl-Raittila, Inna Lindgren, Tuija Virtanen and Brita Wårvik
[Pragmatics & Beyond New Series 190] 2009
► pp. 89–106
Place and communicative personae
How Forster has changed Stevenage since the 1940s
Roger D. Sell’s communicative literary theory, developed from literary pragmatics, contains in its notion of author and reader personae a way of refining our understanding of the relationship between real place and literary activity. A specific place in the Home Counties of England became newly charged with meaning in the 1940s for E. M. Forster. After the war he became involved in a public debate over it, but the views he expressed there were subtly different from those of near-contemporaneous private writings. Campaigners have since the 1960s frequently used Forster for the protection of the area, although his own attitude to change there was ambivalent. Forster offers multiple personae of place to very different readerships in his varied writing on Stevenage.
Published online: 10 December 2009