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Language − Literature − the Arts: A Cognitive-Semiotic Interface


Edited By Elżbieta Chrzanowska-Kluczewska and Olga Vorobyova

The book offers an interdisciplinary discussion of the cognitive-semiotic interface between language, literature, and the arts, with a special focus on creativity and imagination. It brings together international contributors suggesting a wide range of innovative perspectives on the correlation between verbal discourse and creative artefacts. The book reveals the specificity of such phenomena as parallax, transparency, corporeal imagination, and multimodality. Alongside interpreting artistic texts, the contributors search for cognitive and semiotic manifestations of creativity in political and everyday discourse.

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Introduction: Language, Literature, Works of Art: The Texts of Our Experience (Elżbieta Chrzanowska-Kluczewska / Olga Vorobyova)


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Elżbieta Chrzanowska-Kluczewska, Olga Vorobyova

Introduction: Language, Literature, Works of Art: The Texts of Our Experience

1. A semiotic perspective

The discipline of semiotics (Gr. semeiotiké), in other words the doctrine of signs “the business whereof is to consider the nature of signs the mind makes use of for the understanding of things, or conveying its knowledge to others”, in the words of John Locke (quoted in Steiner and Smith Richmond 2012: 1286) which sound exceptionally modern, after several centuries of steady development has reached its apogee in the philosophical and linguistic debates of the 20th and 21st centuries. Yet, its roots extend to Plato’s and Aristotle’s ponderings on the nature of natural language as the fundamental sign system of humanity.

The distinguished company of the founding fathers of modern semiotics numbers in its ranks: a) Ferdinand de Saussure with his structural approach to natural language (sémiologie), b) the outstanding pair of American philosophers Charles S. Peirce and Charles W. Morris, whose conception of semiotics extended far beyond natural languages, c) another pursuer of universal semiotics on the European ground, phenomenologist Edmund Husserl, whose interest in the verbal signs was focused on their capability of expressing logical thoughts and their relation to truth, d) (post)structuralist Roland Barthes, for whom semiotics covered various branches of verbal and non-verbal activities (including fashion), e) Umberto Eco as a developer of an equally comprehensive semiotic programme encompassing several fields of human...

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