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Complex implied form, leisure pursuits, and cultural studies

Fabb, Nigel (2002) Complex implied form, leisure pursuits, and cultural studies. In: Changing Philologies. Museum Tusculanum Press, pp. 105-120. ISBN 87 7289 790 2

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Leisure pursuits are among the cultural practices which a Cultural Studies might examine. It is common to see leisure pursuits as meeting some more general human need, perhaps the need to experience and engage in the ‘ludic’ (Huizinga; 1938); these experiences of leisure relate to aesthetic experience and like aesthetic experience can be understood at least sometimes as complex. In this paper I ask whether the study of leisure pursuits can be integrated into a more general Cultural Studies by specifically exploring the complexities of both their form and their content, and I will pursue an approach to this based on linguistic pragmatics. In this paper I begin by looking at form and content in literary texts, and suggest an integrated approach to complexity in form and content, based on linguistic pragmatics; in this I draw on current work published as Fabb (2002a,b). The second part of the paper is more speculative, and extends the account of literary form and literary content to everyday leisure pursuits such as birdwatching, going to the seaside, and so on.