Publication details [#14010]

Sorlin, Sandrine. 2016. Three major handbooks in three years: Stylistics as a mature discipline. Language and Literature 25 (3) : 286–301. 16 pp.
Publication type
Article in journal
Publication language
Place, Publisher
Thousand Oaks: SAGE


The article reviews three handbooks of stylistics published between 2014 and 2016: The Routledge Handbook of Stylistics, edited by M. Burke (2014), The Cambridge Handbook of Stylistics, co-edited by P. Stockwell and S. Whiteley (2014), and The Bloomsbury Companion to Stylistics, edited by V. Sotirova (2016). As Burke argues in his Introduction to The Routledge Handbook of Stylistics, cited by Sorlin, metaphor is among the 'core issues' in stylistic analysis. Indeed, all three handbooks feature contributions addressing this topic. In her review, Sorlin mentions, in particular, four chapters dealing with metaphor: "Feminist Stylistics" by C. Walsh (Bloomsbury); "Metaphor and Stylistics" by S. Csábi (Routledge), and two contributions by G. Steen -- "Metaphor and Style" (Cambridge) and "Metaphor" (Bloomsbury). Walsh presents an analysis of the "Fifty Shades" trilogy by E.L. James based on Halliday's (1994) transitivity model. While describing the transitivity framework as a key analytical tool, she argues for an integrated approach that takes into account other aspects as well, among which the "enabling or disabling" nature of the metaphors used in a text. Both Csábi and Steen (Cambridge), for their part, reflect on a less explored aspect of metaphor use, i.e., to what extent metaphors can constrain, rather than stimulating, thinking. In his chapter for the Bloomsbury Companion, Steen discusses metaphor as an inherent component of 'style', which is in turn seen as one of the variables of 'genre'. Sorlin concludes by highlighting the extremely high quality of the contributions making up the three handbooks, noting how they foreground all the different areas of interest of stylistics in a complementary fashion, without ever being repetitive.