Before and after Chekhov: inference, interpretation and evaluation

Clark, Billy (2014) Before and after Chekhov: inference, interpretation and evaluation. In: Pragmatic Literary Stylistics. Chapman, Siobhan and Clark, Billy, eds. Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke, pp. 55-69. ISBN 9781137023254, pbk-ISBN 9781349438129, e-ISBN 9781137023278. [Book Section] (doi:10.1057/9781137023278_4)


This chapter considers some of the inferential processes involved in reading, understanding and evaluating Anton Chekhov’s story The Lady with the Little Dog (Chekhov 2002, originally 1899/1903). This story has been very highly valued over the years but many readers report thinking it unimportant or even banal on first reading. The discussion here aims to account for some of the specific inferences involved in understanding the story and also to consider two things which have not been much discussed in previous pragmatic stylistic work: differences between inferences made after first and subsequent readings of a text and the role inferential processes play in evaluating texts. It also aims to consider to what extent an account of reader inferences can account for the fact that many readers report being puzzled by the story on first reading and then go on to value it very highly.

Item Type: Book Section
Research Areas: A. > School of Media and Performing Arts > Media > English Language and Literature
Item ID: 13790
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Depositing User: Billy Clark
Date Deposited: 26 Sep 2014 09:57
Last Modified: 10 Dec 2020 20:54

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