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The Experiential Motivation of Metaphors: On a Poem by Carol Anne Duffy, Phenomenology, and Cognitive Linguistics
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of English.
2008 (English)In: Selected Papers from the 2006 and 2007 Stockholm Metaphor Festivals / [ed] Nils-Lennart Johannesson, David Minugh, Stockholm: Acta Universitatis Stockholmiensis , 2008, 43-52 p.Chapter in book (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The backbone of this paper is a close reading of Carol Anne Duffy’s poem “The Grammar of Light” with focus on its metaphorical dimension. The poem is analysed mainly through concepts used in cognitive linguistics. Consequently, the paper highlights the ontology implied by the discipline of cognitive linguistics. In addition, the investigation examines the aforementioned implications by means of a phenomenological meta-analysis. After having determined the poem’s central conceptual metaphors that are combined and their experiential motivation, the paper attempts to investigate the experiential-cognitive roots of metaphors generally and more closely. What are the conditions of possibility for the understanding-A-through-B structure on this ontological plane? It is argued that experience involves an immediate access to eidetic intuition. The direct experience of a candle necessarily at every instant involves experiential ‘candleness.’ For Husserl, as well as for the cognitive linguist, perception is conception. The immediately accessible creative imagination is of crucial importance to metaphoricity. The paper also takes into consideration aspects of the literal dimension of the engagement with literature. Against the Nietzschean-Derridean line of thinking, it is argued that cognitive embodiment and certain general aspects of experience save the literary text from a complete loss of truth and straightforwardness.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Acta Universitatis Stockholmiensis , 2008. 43-52 p.
Stockholm studies in English, ISSN 0346-6272 ; 103
Keyword [en]
cognitive linguistics, phenomenology, poetry, blending theory, Husserl, Carol Anne Duffy, The Grammar of Light
National Category
Specific Languages
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-17131ISBN: 978-91-86071-10-3OAI: diva2:183651
Available from: 2009-01-07 Created: 2009-01-07 Last updated: 2011-01-13Bibliographically approved

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Wrethed, Joakim
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