GLOSSARY

Allegory A work of literature, usually in the form of a substantial narrative, in which more than one chain of meanings can be discerned; the most obvious example in English literature is John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress, where the surface story is accompanied by a set of deeper, Christian references.

Amalgamated metaphor A metaphor which mixes different realms of discourse, sometimes accidentally, at other times for comic effect.

Anthropomorphism A device whereby human attributes are granted to that which is not human, ranging from the humanising of a deity, as so often in Greek myth, to the humanising of animals, other aspects of the natural world, and even man-made objects.

Conceit The conceit is often regarded as typical of metaphysical poetry. As a use of metaphor, it is distinguished first by the apparent initial dissonance between the two terms of comparison, and second by its sustenance over considerable length, sometimes the length of an entire poem.

Dead metaphor A metaphor which has been used so often that it barely stands out as a metaphor at all and has descended to the level of cliché. Typical of much political language.

Extended metaphor A metaphor extended and developed throughout a text, or throughout significant portions of it. Sometimes this can produce a certain gravity; sometimes, as for example often in the works of Jonathan Swift, a certain levity.

Homonym Words which, although spelt identically, derive from different origins. An example would be ‘stang’, which is a past-tense form of the verb ‘to sting’ but also a noun meaning a pole or bar.

Image This is one of the most frequently used words in literary criticism, and over time its meanings have become exceptionally diffuse. Originally related to the possibilities of making ‘pictures in words’, it has since been extended to cover almost all uses of figurative (non-literal) language, and

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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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