Relevans i litteratur En relevansteoretisk undersökning av Johannes Anyurus De kommer att drunkna i sina mödrars tårar
Relevance in Literature An Examination of Johannes Anyuru’s De kommer att drunkna i sina mödrars tårar Using Relevance Theory
This essay aims to show how Relevance Theory from the Philosophy of Language can be used in literary analysis. The integration of Literary Theory and Relevance Theory has high value in that it raises the status of fiction and literature in the eyes of Philosophy of Language, giving it the same communicative power as other language use rather than discarding it to the realm of pretense or untruthfulness. As this thus could raise the status of Literary Criticism and integrate all forms of language under a single model, it is a highly motivated field of research, arguably in both disciplines. As this field of research is still highly unexplored, the method used is experimental – if literary analysis is conducted on the basis of an ostensive-inferential model for communication, will the results be fruitful? Thus the conclusion of this essay is of speculative nature. The essay uses concepts from Relevance Theory such as internal and external relevance, echoic language use, poetic effects, and cognitive effect to examine the narrative perspective, imagery and function of references in Johannes Anyuru’s contemporary novel De kommer att drunkna i sina mödrars tårar, in order to expose the structures of relevance leading the reader’s interpretation of the novel. In its conclusion, the essay finds the combination of Relevance Theory and Literary Criticism to be appealing; although Relevance Theory does not bring much novelty in method of interpretation, it provides an interesting model for how and why the reader interprets the text in certain ways. The larger question remains largely unanswered but the essay gives hope for positive results from further study.