New Coordinates of Difficulty: An Interdisciplinary Framework

  • Davide Castiglione


This chapter opens with a new definition of difficulty in poetry, which is both a synthesis of earlier attempts and the guiding principle for choosing the frameworks underpinning the model. In general, an empirical and scientific method is advocated. As difficulty is a function of a poem’s textuality, stylistics is the discipline better suited to investigate it. Within or around stylistics, foregrounding theory filters out salient features, while systemic-functional linguistics provides the descriptive apparatus. The cognitive impact on readers is postulated through models of language processing and by appealing to psycholinguistic findings. These models are implemented with an interpretive level (significance) borrowed from structuralist scholars and deemed central to poetry reading. In short, the chapter details new conceptual coordinates for the study of poetic difficulty.


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© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

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

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