chapter  3
Poetic Effects: A Relevance Theory Perspective
Pages 18

Literary studies can be viewed as an essentially humanistic discipline, engagea in the interpretation and evaluation of texts, such tasks being aided by textual scholarship and the contextualization provided by biographical and historical research. This view has been increasingly challenged during the course of this century by calls for a theoretical discipline, related to or based on insights from linguistic theory, and centred on questions about the nature of literature and the process of making sense of literary texts. One line of argument has been that it is not legitimate to do criticism - to engage in interpretation and evaluation - without reflecting upon underlying assumptions about what literature is and how we make sense of it. The first question I would like to address is: what kind of theoretical discipline might literary studies be?