Deixis in literature
What isn’t cognitive poetics?
This is a theoretical and methodological statement of what isn’t and what is Cognitive poetics. It is focused on Peter Stockwell’s discussion of deixis; but, I claim, much of what I have to say on Stockwell’s work would apply to some degree to the work of many other critics. I argue that Stockwell translates traditional critical terms into a “cognitive” language, but does not rely on cognitive processes to account for issues related to the texts discussed; and that he uses these terms to label or classify poetic expressions rather than point out their interaction in generating poetic effects. The present paper does not presume to tell what is the “correct” way to handle those terms, but attempts to give examples of how the same terms could be used with reference to cognitive processes, so as to account for poetic effects.
Keywords: deixis, cognitive poetics, the sublime, point of view, orientation, critical methodology, irony, labeling and meaning-making, poetic effects
Published online: 07 April 2008