The Hoole book: a literary-linguistic study of cohesion and coherence in Thomas Malory’s Morte Darthur

Collins, Matthew ORCID: 0000-0002-9636-1980 (2020). The Hoole book: a literary-linguistic study of cohesion and coherence in Thomas Malory’s Morte Darthur. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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Thomas Malory’s Morte Darthur survives in two distinct witness text versions, the Winchester manuscript and Caxton’s slightly later printed book, and this leads to cultural pressures to value one over the other, in literary history, education and criticism, as more fully developed, sophisticated, and coherent. Resisting that impulse, I argue that a thorough exploration of the different episodic structure, tellability, iconicity, and character in these texts shows that both are cohesive and coherent in their own way. Both versions are a whole book that accordingly give rise to different reading experiences. My approach differs in methodology and interpretive focus from previous critical and historical comparative studies of Winchester and Caxton. I have created a digitally-tagged database in parallel-text format presentation and use corpus-linguistic methods within this to survey the texts for a range of narrative and stylistic features (relating especially to episode marking, tellability, and iconic narration) that contribute to their distinct kinds of coherent structure and texture. By way of demonstration of the different kinds of wholeness available to the reader, a final chapter shows how characterisation is cumulatively constructed, in large part through the narrative and stylistic resources I have explored in depth, in the two texts.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
Licence: All rights reserved
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: School of English, Drama and Creative Studies, Department of English Language and Linguistics
Funders: Arts and Humanities Research Council
Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
P Language and Literature > PE English
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN0080 Criticism
P Language and Literature > PR English literature


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