John Townsend

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My research is on literary-critical styles of writing, with a specific focus on twentieth-century British literary criticism. Beginning with A. E. Housman’s The Name and Nature of Poetry (1933) and extending to the present day, I investigate the nature of literary discourse and its linguistic manifestation in various literary-critical publications. The linguistic features of the four most frequently-observed styles of writing will be systematically quantified and documented. The social, cultural, and institutional influences which impact upon British literary criticism will also be assessed to determine a literary-critical author’s reasons for choosing a style of writing. I hope that this research will provide a new kind of documentation to those interested in literary-critical techniques, and that it will illuminate the relationship between stylistic selection and the social, cultural, and institutional influences which shape the discourses of literary-critical authors.


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John Townsend
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Kriss-Andre Jacobsen