Stylistic analysis in linguistics refers to the identification of patterns of usage in speech and writing. Analyses can appear objective, detailed and technical, even requiring computer assistance, but some caution is needed. Stylistic analysis in literary studies is usually made for the purpose of commenting on quality and meaning in a text. Linguistics is currently a battlefield of contending theories, with no settlement in sight. Many critics have no formal training in linguistics, or even proper reading, and are apt to build on theories (commonly those of Saussure or Jacobson) that are inappropriate and/or no longer accepted.
---. “Why I wrote ‘The Yellow Wallpaper.’” Ed. Nina Baym. The Norton Anthology of American Literature. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2003.
To define genre is to embark on a conjectural journey within a theoretical minefield. Genre theory has drawn immense debate and contemplation throughout literary history, however, several conclusions have emerged. Genre types are unfixed categories whose characteristics differ considerably among the specific genres; furthermore, the role of literary history plays a significant role in discussions of genre, for genre types evolve and shift with each new literary text. An approach to the discussion of genre, family resemblances, illustrates similar conventions among texts within a genre, but there are significant problems in this approach. There are several ways to discuss genre, and although problems abound in any approach, the subjective nature of the literary experience calls attention to the importance of the interaction between reader and text to provide the final word on genre.
Modernism attempts to record the shifts and displacements of sensibility that occurred in the art and literature in the late nineteenth and the early twentieth centuries and took us beyond familiar reality. While it is believed to have started with the movements like Imagism and Symbolism, its end is disputed about. Frank Kermode uses the term “neo-modernism” to suggest its continuity in the post-war art. The modernist literature is, in most critical usage, reckoned to be the literature of what Harold Hasenburg calls “the tradition of the new”. The task of such literature is its own self-realisation which is both outside and beyond established orders, breaking away from familiar functions of language and conventions of form.
During the twentieth century a new term came to be used in classifying literature and it was called modernism. Modernism is not easily summoned up with one or two characteristics because, two writers could have varying styles and still be modernist. T.S. Elliot and William Carlos Williams are a perfect example of the varying styles in modernism. The reason these two may have differed from each other so strongly could be related to their different backgrounds.