Towards Marxist stylistics: incorporating elements of critical discourse analysis into Althusserian Marxist criticism in the interpretation of selected Zimbabwean fiction

Doctoral Thesis


Permanent link to this Item
Journal Title
Link to Journal
Journal ISSN
Volume Title

University of Cape Town

The thesis - which locates itself at the interface between linguistic and literary studies - explores the possibility of developing a ‘Marxist- stylistic’ method of text interpretation, which primarily proceeds from Althusserian Marxist Criticism, but which also incorporates salient elements of Critical Discourse Analysis. In construction of the method, the thesis first investigates the need for Althusserian Marxist criticism to be mediated, and more specifically, the areas in which this mediation is required. The thesis then crosses over to the field of Critical Discourse Analysis where it identifies relevant theoretical and methodological resources that are capable of mediating the ‘gaps’ identified in Althusserian Marxist criticism. The construction of the Marxist stylistic method is then effected through the transfer of germane theoretical and methodological resources from Critical Discourse Analysis to Althusserian Marxist criticism. The distinctive properties of the emergent Marxist-stylistic method are delineated before the method is practically applied to the interpretation of at least four fictional texts – all written and set in Zimbabwe. The key outcome of the thesis is that a distinctive method of text interpretation, which meaningfully separates itself from Althusserian Marxist criticism, on the one hand, and Critical Discourse Analysis, on the other, emerges. The thesis concludes with a reflection on the application of the method and makes some suggestions for further research and development in the area herein labelled as ‘Marxist stylistics.’

Includes bibliographical references.