2
EASTERN AND
WESTERN METAPHOR

Western notions of metaphor, therefore, depend on specific registers of similarity and dissimilarity, but metaphor has occupied a quite different place in the long evolution of Eastern critical theories, and this is in part a consequence of the different emphases and valuations placed upon writing and speech. Thus, in order to pursue a history of metaphor, it is necessary to turn aside and look at the role of metaphor in the establishment of Chinese and Japanese poetics. Here the relation between text and physicality takes a different turn, as does the relation between consciousness and the unconscious, and consequently the role of metaphor as mediation between self and ‘not-self’. Metaphor in the Chinese tradition, for example, is bound to a theory of ‘appropriate styles’; but what is also important is that it is responsive to a quite different religious and political tradition, and thus these differences can be used to demonstrate the necessary instability of general definitions of metaphor, as I shall go on to show.

I have already mentioned various terms which are loosely associated with metaphor, and now is a moment to try to be clear about these terms as they have traditionally been used within the Western tradition. The term ‘metaphor’ itself is seen to identify a verbal process whereby two

-26-

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Metaphor
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Metaphor i
  • The New Critical Idiom ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Series Editor’s Preface vii
  • Introduction 1
  • 1 - The Classical Problem- Figurative Language 11
  • 2 - Eastern and Western Metaphor 26
  • 3 - Public Metaphor 42
  • 4 - Metaphor and the ‘Text Instead’ 57
  • 5 - Metaphor and Psychoanalysis 72
  • 6 - Metaphor, the Uncanny, DÉjÀ-Vu 87
  • 7 - Metaphor, Difference, Untranslatability 102
  • 8 - Metaphor and the Postcolonial Turn 113
  • 9 - Some Examples and Limits 125
  • 10 - Conclusion 136
  • Glossary 146
  • Bibliography 149
  • Index 156
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