Slave narratives have always been the source of multifarious examinations and the subject of so many pieces of research that it would seem at, first sight, futile to attempt to come up with other discoveries about the field understudy. However, the rationale behind undertaking this research is that the previous studies have mainly been preoccupied with how objective or subjective the slave narrative autobiographies are but they have not been interested enough in how the power of the linguistic choices attempts to influence readers. The following study attempts to focus on the power of the formalist and cognitive stylistics together with the literary pragmatics and narratology on readers. This thesis follows a tripartite analysis involving three instruments, namely a corpus analysis, an empirical analysis and an investigation of published receptions. The corpus analysis includes quantitative and qualitative tools. The empirical analysis is founded on a questionnaire. These two instruments are validated by an examination of some published testimonies on the internet. It has been found that autobiographies are not mere “forms of direct access to [authors] themselves” (Olney 1972: 332 cited in Anderson 2001:3), but rather convenient ways of communication. The writer’s recourse to some linguistic choices is not only due to a source of inspiration, it is rather an attempt to communicate with the reader who will be totally engaged in this work of art.
Besma Ben Khalifa, University of Sfax, Tunisia
Stream: Literature: Indigenous People’s/Ethnic Literatures and Minority Discourses
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