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Appears in Collections:Literature and Languages Conference Papers and Proceedings
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Author(s): Leonardi, Barbara
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Title: The Pragmatics of Dreams in James Hogg’s ‘Cousin Mattie’
Citation: Leonardi B (2012) The Pragmatics of Dreams in James Hogg’s ‘Cousin Mattie’. In: On-line Proceedings of the Annual Conference of the Poetics and Linguistics Association (PALA) PALA 2012: Poetics and Linguistics Association Annual Conference, Valetta, Malta, 16.07.2012-18.07.2012. Poetics and Linguistics Association.
Issue Date: 2012
Date Deposited: 2-Apr-2015
Conference Name: PALA 2012: Poetics and Linguistics Association Annual Conference
Conference Dates: 2012-07-16 - 2012-07-18
Conference Location: Valetta, Malta
Abstract: Scottish writer James Hogg (1770-1835) made highly sophisticated use of the supernatural in his realist works. Though judged as a 'childish' and a 'naïve' writer by contemporary reviewers, Hogg exploited the possibilities offered by the Scottish Borders' tradition for his narratorial purposes, in so doing conveying subtle critiques of contemporary social issues outwith the text. In 'Cousin Mattie' (1820) Hogg employed the superstitious belief in foretelling dreams and the fairies' magic number of seven to construct the plot of his tale. Through flouting Grice's 'maxims' of 'quantity' and 'manner' with a highly ambiguous ending, the 'maxim of quality' by a strategic use of the supernatural, and by intertextually referencing contemporary ballads of infanticide, Hogg exposed the social stigmatization of unwed mothers and the harsh reality of life in rural Scotland. Ambiguity concerning the reasons of Mattie's death made more acceptable an issue deemed 'indelicate' to nineteenth-century bourgeois readers, whom Hogg left to discern symbolic meanings, avoiding threatening their assumptions of literary politeness, and leaving the possibility of different interpretations, neither of which excludes the other.
Status: VoR - Version of Record
Rights: Copyright remains with the author. Proper attribution of authorship and correct citation details should be given.

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