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ERIC Number: ED377485
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1994-Nov
Pages: 21
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Toward a Rhetorical Theory of Metaphor: A Transactive Analysis of Metaphor in the Arts.
Bannister, Linda; And Others
Three professors at Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, reflected about a course they taught together on the use of metaphor in language, art and literature. In examining a wide range of art works with their students, including prose by E. A. Poe, Nancy Mairs, Henry James, and Woody Allen and movies such as "Dr. Strangelove,""Citizen Kane" and "The Birds," they observed that each artist had imbued his or her text with metaphor. These metaphors were not similar thematically but rather structurally and strategically. They noticed that in all cases, metaphor was a discourse act, a transaction between writer, text, and reader. The interdependent acts of writing, reading, and apprehending a metaphor are collectively rhetorical transactions. They are observed that jokes can advance and illustrate theories of metaphor because all jokes and comedy itself can only exist within a metaphoric framework. Humor and comedy rely upon associations and connections made by the hearer of the joke and are thus rhetorical transactions. Finally, the study of metaphor raises issues of epistemology. Paul de Man, in "Epistemology as Metaphor," wonders "whether the metaphors illustrate a cognition or if the cognition is not perhaps shaped by metaphors." While it might be assumed that metaphor stabilizes meaning by making abstract notions picturesquely real, it actually constitutes an act whose essence is a myth, but whose work is self-revealing. The only meaning inherent in metaphors is that of their action upon questionable notions of "experience" or "essence." (Contains course description and other materials, including a writing assignment.) (TB)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Descriptive; Guides - Classroom - Teacher
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers; Practitioners
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A