chapter  5
31 Pages

Literature as Imitation: Jakobson, Joyce, and the Art of Onomatopoeia

The major link between what became known respectively as Russian Formalism and Prague Structuralism was the figure of Roman Jakobson who, having played a leading role in the Moscow Linguistic Circle, moved to Czechoslovakia in 1920. Although within and between these groups and movements there were wide differences, both among individuals and over time, the theorists concerned were held together by a consistent concern with the question of "literariness," the features or functions that could be said to distinguish literature as a special form of language. Literature as Imitation of sequences of sound and rhythm which imitate sounds or other qualities in the world beyond the poem, referentiality becomes a crucial element in its operation. Literature as Jmitation tial function; according to the other, they tend to disappear in an Saussure survey of semantic enhanced experience of referentiality. Nonlexical Onomatopoeia the distinction between lacing and lacking.