Since its publication, Emily Brontë’s
Wuthering Heights has given rise to an unusual plurality of interpretations, leading to the impression that the novel somehow resists interpretation. The author offers a new reading of the novel that takes this effect into account by investigating its reason: ambiguity is a thematic focal point and structural key element of the novel.
This study is concerned with the ambiguity of
Wuthering Heights which arises through a complex interplay of distinct but interdependent ambiguities of perception, narration, and the narrated world. In particular, it shows how specific ambiguous utterances (e.g. a clash of implicatures and presuppositions) are linked with each other and contribute to the global ambiguity of the text. In this way, not only the function of ambiguity for understanding
Wuthering Heights is explored but also the function of
Wuthering Heights for understanding ambiguity. The book should thus be of interest not only to Brontë scholars and Victorianists but also to literary scholars and linguists in general.
Empirical Form and Religious Function provides a fresh perspective on the rise of empirical apparition narratives in the Anglophone world of the Early Enlightenment era.
Drawing on both well-established and previously unknown sources, Michael Dopffel here offers a fundamental reappraisal of one of the defining narrative genres of the 17th and 18th centuries. Intricately connected to evolving discourses of natural philosophy, Protestant religion and popular literature, the apparition narratives portrayed in this work constitute a hybrid genre whose interpretations and literary functions retained the ambiguity of their subject matter. Simultaneously an empirically approachable phenomena and a religious experience, witnesses and writers translated the spiritual characteristics of apparitions into distinct literary forms, thereby shaping conceptions of ghosts, whether factual or fictional, to this day.