Style, truth and imagination in the short stories of Peter Carey: a social-semiotic stylistic approach
thesisposted on 2022-03-29, 01:12 authored by Martin Tilney
This thesis is an investigation into the style of one of Australia's greatest contemporary literary exports: Peter Carey. Carey is an acclaimed writer of fiction and is best known as an award-winning novelist, but before his first novel was published in the 1970s, he achieved international recognition as a writer of short stories. The stories were receive dwell by critics, but were largely overshadowed by his subsequent novels. Although a considerable amount of critical attention has been paid to his stories over the years, there still remains much to say about their style and meaning: namely the ways in which their imaginative, anti-realist devices articulate fictional truth. Taking as my point of departure the insights and opinions of traditional literary critics, I argue that Carey's short stories, as seen through the lens of social-semiotic stylistics, articulate a special form of truth which provokes the reader to imagine new possibilities. This questioning of reality is shown to be a central preoccupation in his stories by using a variety of linguistic methods to make explicit their verbal texture.