Before and after Chekhov: inference, interpretation and evaluation

Book chapter

Clark, B. 2014. Before and after Chekhov: inference, interpretation and evaluation. in: Chapman, S. and Clark, B. (ed.) Pragmatic Literary Stylistics Basingstoke Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 55-69
Chapter titleBefore and after Chekhov: inference, interpretation and evaluation
AuthorsClark, B.

This chapter considers some of the inferential processes involved in reading, understanding and evaluating Anton Chekhov’s story The Lady with the Little Dog (Chekhov 2002, originally 1899/1903). This story has been very highly valued over the years but many readers report thinking it unimportant or even banal on first reading. The discussion here aims to account for some of the specific inferences involved in understanding the story and also to consider two things which have not been much discussed in previous pragmatic stylistic work: differences between inferences made after first and subsequent readings of a text and the role inferential processes play in evaluating texts. It also aims to consider to what extent an account of reader inferences can account for the fact that many readers report being puzzled by the story on first reading and then go on to value it very highly.

Research GroupEnglish Language and Literature
Page range55-69
Book titlePragmatic Literary Stylistics
EditorsChapman, S. and Clark, B.
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Place of publicationBasingstoke
Publication dates
Print01 Jan 2014
Publication process dates
Deposited26 Sep 2014
Output statusPublished
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
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