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Models, gradations, experiments


Edward Balcerzan

The deepest crises cannot destroy the universal model of literariness. It maintains its appeal for participants in literary communication as a «contradictory» model. This thought recurs in many epochs. Literariness involves suspending the formal or logical norms of contradiction ( lex contraditionis). In everyday speech, it is not permissible for «A» to simultaneously be «not-A»; in literary structures this is the norm. This is both in the ideas, and in the tensions between the artificiality and naturalness of speech, the structure and the chaos of the plot, experimentation and revitalization of tradition, objective observation and a biased vision of the world, its visibility and invisibility, expressibility and inexpressibility, and a realistic and an imaginative focus. Executions of this model are gradative.
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Chapter 4: Metaphors, Interpretations, Great Silva Rerums


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Chapter 4:  Metaphors, Interpretations, Great Silva Rerums

The two subjects outlined thus far, interpretation and metaphor, require developing. I have thus far understood interpretation as a way of making models of literary theory seem probable (or rejecting them). As I wrote back in Chapter One,

The conception of literariness so far proposed would be unthinkable without the cooperation of theory and interpretation. The greater the variety of phenotypes revealed in explications of individual works, the greater support they will provide for the MODELING ambitions of theory.

In terms of metaphor, on the other hand, I have been interested in a particular variety: literary theory metaphors (which are often miniature interpretations of the basic meanings and distinguishing features of the art of the word).

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