«Gegengabe» in Paremiology, Folklore, Language, and Literature – Honoring Wolfgang Mieder on His Seventieth Birthday
Edited By Christian Grandl and Kevin J. McKenna
Floral Symbolism in Creative Metaphors and in Phraseology
Antonio Pamies Bertrán & Daniela Natale
In a lecture on Gongora's Poetic Images, Federico García Lorca stated:
"In order to be alive, a metaphor should fulfill two necessary conditions: form and sphere of activity. A central 'core' and a circular perspective all around it. The core opens itself like a flower, surprisingly unknown, but in its surrounding sphere of light we still find the name of the flower and we recognize its perfume" (221986:vol. 2, 230).1
The poet explains the concept of metaphor by means of another metaphor, in this case, a floral one, and, although he does it in the traditional terms of displacement,2 he anticipates by half a century Paul Ricœur's hermeneutic philosophy (1975) and the modern cognitive theories, when talking about a (sensitive) "core," opening access to a less structured domain that we could understand by means of those "rays of light."
The frequent coincidence among figurative expressions from different languages is often explained by the existence of shared "idealized cognitive models" (Lakoff & Johnson, 1980), "image components" (Baranov & Dobrovol'skij, 1998) and/or "archi-metaphors" (Pamies Bertrán, 2002; Iñesta Mena & Pamies Bertrán, 2002), as potentially universal mental models revealed by language (Lakoff & Johnson, 1980:155). But, in a complementary way, the cross-linguistic divergences are explained by the existence of specific cognitive patterns belonging to a community, and based on "culturally bound" associations of ideas...
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