Cultural Symbolism in Literature

Cultural Symbolism in Literature

Cultural Symbolism in Literature

Cultural Symbolism in Literature

Excerpt

This monograph is intended as a small contribution to the most urgent need of the humanities at the present time: a rapprochement with the social sciences and especially with cultural anthropology. It has been my aim to show, in a discussion of selected literary works, how their authors have (for the most part unconsciously) symbolized one aspect or another of the underlying patterns and problems of their respective cultures. In this, I have followed a type of approach suggested to me some years ago by Gregory Bateson in the interpretation of motion pictures. No claim is made to completeness or perfection of method; there are undoubtedly many other works of literature equally or even more susceptible to this type of analysis, and other scholars will be able to perform it more effectively. If I have been able to suggest and exemplify a type of correlation that has hitherto been somewhat neglected, and to indicate a fruitful direction for further investigation, this monograph will have fulfilled its purpose.

The references and bibliography make no pretense of completeness, and are intended only to give further leads along major lines of interest.

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