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Transient Difficulty: Utterances Towards Obscurity

  • Davide Castiglione
Chapter

Abstract

This chapter analyses four poems by Stevens, Crane, Thomas and Hill. These poems belong to the typology of transient difficulty: the resistance they engender is a precondition for the disclosure of meaningfulness. Accessibility in them is thwarted by a reliance on textual rather than cultural schemas. For instance, while Strand’s accessible poem is built around the ‘forlorn lover’ cultural schema, Stevens’s poem alludes to the ‘parable’ textual schema. Accordingly, their themes feel more mediated by semiosis. These poems oppose greater resistance at the readability level too, due to a systemic syntax/line mismatch and a more extensive use of novel metaphors. The RIDs they prompt congruently indicate a looser grasp of their meaning: lower intersubjective agreement, longer reading times and tendency to elaborate rather than paraphrase content.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Davide Castiglione
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of English PhilologyVilnius UniversityVilniusLithuania

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