Eugene F. Kaelin proposes to place in an aesthetic context the theme of the "surplus of meaning" that he sees running through my work, from The Symbolism of Evil, passing, of course, through The Rule of Metaphor, up to Time and Narrative. At the end of this course, the initial notion of a surplus of meaning is carried to the level of the more general concept of metaphoricity, which in its turn opens the path for an aesthetic of the same extension as the concept of metaphoricity, which this aesthetic is supposed to make operational.
In what does the aesthetic moment of metaphoricity consist? The author centers his discussion on the aesthetic pleasure associated successively with the comprehension of the symbol, then with that of the plot, and, finally, with that of the "fables of time" in Time and Narrative 2. The surplus of meaning tied to the semantic innovation common to these three exemplary categories is collected in the aesthetic pleasure. The author expresses his reservations here regarding an interpretation of Aristotelian catharsis in which the primary accent is placed on the intelligible dimension of the plot. The "positive" liberation of our libidinal drives would in this way be sacrificed to the intellectual response given to the literary composition. To reply to these legitimate reservations, I propose to stress, better than I did in Time and Narrative 1, what I would call today the metaphorization of the emotions themselves. Far from being abolished, or repressed, the emotions of terror and pity are "retained" and at the same time "superseded" in aesthetic pleasure. In this way they are metaphorized precisely as emotions. I became interested in this phenomenon of affective metaphorization by reflecting recently on the interpretation of the Canticle of Canticles in the Jewish and Christian tradition. It appeared to me that the so-called "spiritualist" tradition does not abolish the so-called "erotic" interpreta
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Publication information: Book title: The Philosophy of Paul Ricoeur. Contributors: Lewis Edwin Hahn - Editor. Publisher: Open Court. Place of publication: Chicago. Publication year: 1995. Page number: 256.
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