Using contradictions: When multiple wrongs make right


  • Marla Perkins Independent Scholar



Logic, contradiction, aesthetics, narratology, cognition, reader


As noted by Teske, 2015, contradictions are used intentionally and systematically to convey various types of meaning in works of narrative fiction. I consider ways in which these strategies might also contribute to guiding (or misguiding) readers through narratives and some possible aesthetic considerations toward the uses of contradictions in fiction. It is also suggested that evaluations of the applications of contradictions and other rhetorical strategies for conveying meaning and/or aesthetics in narrative could lead toward a clearer understanding of what makes a given text literary or not.

Author Biography

Marla Perkins, Independent Scholar

Marla Perkins, Ph.D., is a linguist specializing in pragmatics and syntactic discourse analysis with significant side forays in semantics, sociolinguistics, cognitive geography, literary linguistics, and the cognitive sciences. She received her doctorate from the State University of New York at Buffalo and is an internationally recognized scholar. She has taught linguistics and English on four continents to students ranging in age from four to eighty-one, among whom her quirky style and wide-ranging interests help to maintain students’ interest and guide the relevance of language learning and linguistic analysis to students’ individual needs and interests. She conducts field research in Indonesia among the Hobongan in order to work toward language documentation and preservation. She also provides linguistic consulting services to various individual and corporate clients. In her spare time, as if that were possible, she enjoys reading, hiking, swimming, cross-country skiing, traveling, creating fine art using watercolor and ink, and playing piano and cello, but not simultaneously.




How to Cite

Perkins, M. (2016). Using contradictions: When multiple wrongs make right. Language Under Discussion, 3(1), 28–30.