chapter  2
Cross-Cultural Problems in the Perception of Literature
Pages 18

Hence, literary pragmatics must concern itself with textual meanings beyond the linguistic structure of the literary text itself, either in the inward-looking way indicated by Gazdar, Kempson and others (i.e. 'the study of deixis [ ... ], implicature, presupposition, speech acts, and aspects of discourse structure'; see Stalnaker (1972)), or by looking outwards towards aspects of the sociocultural affiliation of authors/readers and the complexities of literary communication beyond simplistic assumptions of message transference by means of a code through a channel (i.e. the written or oral medium) from a sender (the author? implied author? narrator? etc.) to a receiver (the reader? implied reader? fictive reader? etc.). Literary pragmatics must be able to encompass both methods of considering the relationships between the linguistic structures of the literary text, the 'users' of those texts (looked at from both ends of the creative process), and the contexts in which the texts are produced and interpreted. It is therefore not antagonistic to post-structuralist, deconstructionist theories of literature, since one principle is common to both approaches to literary discourse: the number of possible readings of a literary text must be open-ended, potentially infinite, and the readings themselves open to new reader reactions.