I’ve just been to the mini-PALA conference at the University of Huddersfield, where I talked on ‘”Whereof one cannot speak”: philosophical asides on literature’. In this paper, I considered some of the things that philosophers have said about literature when they were really interested in something else, usually in some aspect of the question of the relationship between language and truth. I suggested some ways in which these philosophical asides might be of interest to present-day linguists engaged in the study of literature.
The conference, with the general theme of ‘Stylistics: Eclecticism and Interdisciplinarity’ was very successful and very enjoyable. It was particularly striking to see how, despite the many different ways in which participants approached the theme, there was real consensus about the viability and desirability of eclecticism in linguistic approaches, particularly approaches to literary study. Lesley Jeffries is planning to edit a collection of papers from the conference for publication.