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Much More than Metaphor

Master Tropes of Artistic Language and Imagination


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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I am grateful to the Institute of English Studies at the Jagiellonian University (JU) in Kraków for financial assistance in carrying out my research abroad and in publishing its final result. I would like to thank Prof. Dr hab. Elbieta Maczak-Wohlfeld for her longtime friendship and support as Head of the Chair of English Linguistics in the Institute of English Studies, JU. My most sincere words of gratitude go to Prof. Dr. Olga P. Vorobyova and Prof. Dr. Hans Sauer for devoting their precious time and expertise to my work. In a sense, I owe a debt of gratitude to my students, who for years have shown an unfailing interest in stylistics. The selection of literary excerpts analysed in this book partly reflects their own choices and sensibility to the beauty of English artistic language. My warm thanks are due to my London-based friends, Ewa and George Zawadzki, who took me under their roof in the spring of 2009, thus enabling me to collect material for this book. I mention with gratitude the British Library in London and the Library of Indiana University, Bloomington, USA, where I spent several weeks in search of literature on figuration. Last but not least, I thank my husband Kazimierz for his unfailing patience. He had to survive my diminished concern about our earthly matters and cuisine in particular. My family, as always, have shown me a lot of consideration and moral support.

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