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Appears in Collections:Literature and Languages Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: James Hogg, ‘Basil Lee’, and the Pragmatics of Highland Masculinity
Author(s): Leonardi, Barbara
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Keywords: James Hogg
Bakhtin’s carnival
literary pragmatics
Highland masculinity
marriage plot
national tale
Issue Date: Jun-2012
Date Deposited: 2-Apr-2015
Citation: Leonardi B (2012) James Hogg, ‘Basil Lee’, and the Pragmatics of Highland Masculinity. NAWA: Journal of Language and Communication, 6 (1), pp. 84-101.
Abstract: The present paper will develop a literary-pragmatic analysis of "Basil Lee," a short novella published in 1820 by Scottish writer James Hogg (1770-1835). The analysis will view literature as an interactive phenomenon between author and readers. The writing and reading processes will be assumed to be a conversation about the text, which may be influenced by the author's and reader's historical positions, although not totally determined by them since they both can resist or comply with the cultural values of their time (Sell, 2000). The aim is to show that the negative response to Hogg's text at its time of publication may have been motivated by the subversiveness of its subject. Hogg presenting a prostitute as a lady at heart who "redeems" through marriage a supposedly Highland soldier, and prevents him from deserting the imperial war in Quebec, may have defied bourgeois principles of literary politeness; while their subsequent happy marriage may also have been perceived as Hogg's manifest intention to critique the apparent assumptions of respectability of contemporary bourgeois marriage.
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