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Chiasm, Epoché, and Synergy: The Metaphorical Style in John Banville's Art Trilogy
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of English.
2008 (English)In: Nordic Irish Studies, ISSN 1602-124X, Vol. 7, 91-102 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

My article is based on a theoretical hybridization of cognitive linguistics and phenomenology. I focus on three novels by the Irish writer John Banville: The Book of Evidence (1989), Ghosts (1993), and Athena (1995). Their similar major themes about art and ethics have brought them together as the Art Trilogy or the Frames Trilogy. My article seeks to identify three interrelated aspects of metaphoricity in the literary texts. The first aspect concerns what I call chiasmatic oscillation. I argue that metaphoricity in the Art Trilogy is the central force that reveals how the imagery continuously reciprocates with what in familiar terms would be called literal or more ‘mimetic’ levels of the narratives. Furthermore, I claim that metaphoricity in the Art Trilogy is indicative of recurring cuts or reductions, in which existence is somehow intensified. These metaphorical epochés sometimes resemble epiphanic moments, where surprising affective-eidetic patterns break through the endless becoming without ruling it out. These moments are discussed in terms of synergy, which denotes the creative energy itself, the chora, the domain of child’s play, liturgy, science, and art; the primordial exhilaration that belongs neither to the subject nor to the world. Thus, I simultaneously try to discuss style as a very profound linguistic-experiential phenomenon.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. Vol. 7, 91-102 p.
Keyword [en]
John Banville, metaphoricity, phenomenology, style
National Category
General Literature Studies
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-16104OAI: diva2:182624
Available from: 2009-02-12 Created: 2009-02-12 Last updated: 2011-01-10Bibliographically approved

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Wrethed, Joakim
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