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Roger D. SELL: Introduction: The new interdisciplinarity. SECTION I Literature as 'special' and 'ordinary'. Henry WIDDOWSON: Old song that will not declare itself: on poetry and the imprecision of meaning. Nils Erik ENKVIST: Context. SECTION II How readers of literature work towards meanings. Peter STOCKWELL: To be or not to be a phagocyte: procedures of reading metaphors. Michael TOOLAN: On recyclings and irony. Adrian PILKINGTON: Against literary reading conventions. Tony BEX: The relevance of genre. SECTION III Writers and readers within sociocultural history. Alison TATE: Bakhtin, addressivity, and the poetics of objectivity. Guy COOK: Contradictory voices: a dialogue between Russian and Western European linguists. Irma TAAVITSAINEN: Characters and English almanac literature: genre developments and intertextuality. Ingrid TIEKEN-BOON VAN OSTADE: Eighteenth-century letters and journals as evidence: studying society through the individual. SECTION IV Literature in the lives of readers. Ineke BOCKTING: Light in August and the issue of unreliability. Willie van PEER: Emotional functions of reading literature. Roger D. SELL: Literary gossip, literary theory, literary pragmatics.