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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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Chapter 4. Tropological space and figurative worlds


Chapter 4 Tropological space and figurative worlds 4.1 Tropological space 4.1.1 Tropological space as a subpart of logical space The idea that the semantic figures, each of them separately but also in various combinations, create their own specific space, which we can call tropological, has been signalled already in my early article on figuration (Chrzanowska- Kluczewska 2004a) and developed in more detail under the label of imaginary space of figuration (Chrzanowska-Kluczewska 2010). It seems a very proper subject to wrap up our discussion on particular tropes and show how they can work in tandem or in larger coalitions. The term tropological space comes from Foucault (1966 [2009]: 126), who also refers to it as rhetorical space (p. 174). Genette (1966 [1982b]: 47), coextensively with Foucault, applies the term space of a figure. The equation of the ‘tropological’ with the ‘rhetorical’ was, as we pointed out earlier, elaborated by de Man ([2004]), who seemed to invest the tropes with the persuasive power. Figuration, then, is partly merged with rhetoric. This tenet, incidentally, was shared by other deconstructivist thinkers (cf. Hillis Miller 1986). The term “imaginative figuration” is also due to de Man, who used it in The Resistance to Theory (1982 [2006]). Since the space of figuration so conceived refers vastly to things imagined rather than real, I have proposed to treat it as a sub-region of logical space, the concept envisioned by Wittgenstein in Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus (1921). We have, consequently, to distinguish a few kinds of space: 1) physical – the...

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