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Pragmatics of science fiction narrative : the example of The World at Last by Jean-Pierre Andrevon



ID: <10670/1.puciw4>


The majority of French research on science fiction (SF) examined its historical background, evolution, or the portrayal of various themes in SF texts (see e.g., Baudin 1971, Gattégno 1992, Grenier 1994, Goimard 1974, 1984, 2002, etc.).However, to our knowledge, no study has taken a pragmatic approach towards examining the relationship between the linguistic forms used in SF literature and their intended meaning. Most of the studies that examined text processing (see e.g., Angenot, 1978), took a traditional approach to analyze SF words in isolation from their contexts. Hence, a pragmatic analysis is needed that can lend a better understanding of the author’s ideology and his imaginary world that depicts the “serious” part of SF literature, concerning man and society. The present study seeks to address this gap in literature by analyzing a celebrated piece of SF i.e., The World At Last by Jean-Pierre Andrevon (2006) taking a pragmatic stylistic approach, based on the principles of discourse analysis. It concretely examines the potential intentions behind the use of specific linguistic means (e.g., implicatures, humor, enunciative heterogeneity) that present arguments concerning ecological issues. The preliminary results show that from a pragmatic looking glass, contrary to the cliché notions, SF discourse emerges as closer to our reality. It calls into question our present to foresee the dangers in our future, a finding which is difficult to access without taking context into account. A further finding shows that associating imaginary themes and language solidly anchored in real world contributes to the originality and to the modernity of the genre.

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