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Much More than Metaphor

Master Tropes of Artistic Language and Imagination

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Elzbieta Chrzanowska-Kluczewska

The monograph argues for a return to a more fine-grained repertoire of tropes than the limiting analyses focused on metaphor or on the metaphor-metonymy duet. A list of ten master tropes is proposed, not only as candidates for tropological universals but also important text-forming strategies and a reflection of artistic imagination. The author presents a three-layered model of their organization into micro-, macro- and mega-/metatropes that partake in the construal of tropological space and figurative worlds. The book brings together Anglo-American and French-language philosophy of rhetoric, cognitive studies, and a tradition of Russian formalistic-semiotic research. It straddles the boundary between linguistic and literary stylistics as well as between post-structural and cognitive poetics, pointing also to an interdisciplinary nature of tropes.

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Acknowledgements............................................................................................... 9 Introduction......................................................................................................... 11 Chapter 1 From microtropes, through macrotropes, to mega- and metatropes of artistic language and conceptualization ..................................................... 19 1.1 Tropes (semantic figures) defined .............................................................. 19 1.2 On the way from microtropes to macrotropes (from ‘small’ to ‘big’ figures)..................................................................... 22 1.3 Megatropes and metatropes (‘large figures’).............................................. 33 1.3.1 Megatropes......................................................................................... 33 1.3.2 Metatropes ......................................................................................... 47 Chapter 2 The Vichian tropological tetrad and its contemporary variants .................. 51 2.1 The Vichian tetrad ...................................................................................... 51 2.1.1 Giambattista Vico’s tropological circle ............................................. 51 2.1.2 Kenneth Burke and his master tropes................................................ 56 2.1.3. Hayden White’s tetrad: Giambattista Vico and Jean Piaget brought together ............................................................................... 57 2.2 Metaphor – from micro- to megatrope ....................................................... 61 2.2.1 Theoretical considerations ................................................................. 61 2.2.2 By way of illustration ........................................................................ 64 2.3 Metonymy – from micro- to megametonymy............................................. 66 2.3.1 Theoretical considerations ................................................................. 66 2.3.2 By way of illustration ........................................................................ 70 2.4 Synecdoche – from micro- to megasynecdoche ......................................... 72 2.4.1 Theoretical considerations ................................................................. 72 2.4.2 By way of illustration ........................................................................ 75 2.5 Irony.............................................................................................................. 79 2.5.1 Theoretical considerations ................................................................. 79 2.5.2 By way of illustration ........................................................................ 81 8 Contents Chapter 3 Beyond the Vichian circle................................................................................. 89 3.1. The tetrad in other fields of study............................................................... 89 3.1.1. Sigmund Freud’s tropology of dreams ............................................. 89 3.1.2 Jacques Lacan and the figures of the unconscious ............................ 94 3.1.3 Claude Lévi-Strauss and the tropes of the “savage” mind................. 97 3.2 The set of master tropes extended............................................................. 101 3.2.1 Simile – Comparison ....................................................................... 101 3.2.2 Antithesis ......................................................................................... 107 3.2.3 Catachresis ....................................................................................... 112 3.2.4 Euphemia (Understatement) ............................................................ 116 3.2.5 Suppression...................................................................................... 119 3.2.6 Hyperbole (Exaggeration)................................................................ 125 3.3 Cumulative effect of troping..................................................................... 130 Chapter 4 Tropological space and figurative worlds..................................................... 135 4.1...

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