Railway Discourse: Linguistic and Stylistic Representations of the Train in the Anglophone World
This volume examines the train trope in a variety of cultural, literary and linguistic contexts, from contemporary crime fiction and dystopian graphic narratives to postcolonial railway travelogues, by employing a range of methods and frameworks. Situated within the “Discourse, Pragmatics and Sociolinguistics” collection, the book critically engages with significant areas such as discourse and narrative structure. Interpreting the railway as a powerful cultural and imaginary site in the English-speaking world that traverses a range of creative domains, this study explores the ways in which the train and its structures, symbols and metaphors are textually rendered and the type of stylistic effects they generate in readers. It introduces, frames and discusses the idea of railway discourse and focuses on specific case studies (The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins, the graphic novel Snowpiercer and Monisha Rajesh’s Around India in 80 Trains). In particular, it considers how a compartment window can constrain, and shape, the point of view of a narrator, the way in which science fiction trains are conceptually imagined, and the intercultural implications of rail travel writing in India today. To analyse the role and meaning of the railway in these texts, and compare them with others, this work adopts and adapts analytical tools and critical concepts from the integration of different fields, such as stylistics and linguistics, postcolonial criticism and literary studies.
Esterino Adami is an Associate Professor of English Language and Translation of the University of Turin, Italy. His main areas of interest include stylistics, narratology, postcolonial writing and diatopic varieties of English. He has published extensively on the fictional rendition of specialised discourse, ideology in ELT, Anglophone cultures, lexical aspects of Indian English, and the semiotics of comics, and co-edited Within and Across: Language and Construction of Shifting Identities in Post-Colonial Contexts (with A. Martelli, 2012) and Other Worlds and the Narrative Construction of Otherness (with F. Bellino and A. Mengozzi, 2017).
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