Metaphor

Metaphor

by Denis Donoghue

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Overview

Denis Donoghue turns his attention to the practice of metaphor and to its lesser cousins, simile, metonym, and synecdoche. Metaphor ("a carrying or bearing across") supposes that an ordinary word could have been used in a statement but hasn't been. Instead, something else, something unexpected, appears. The point of a metaphor is to enrich the reader's experience by bringing different associations to mind. The force of a good metaphor is to give something a different life, a new life. The essential character of metaphor, Donoghue says, is prophetic. Metaphors intend to change the world by changing our sense of it.

At the center of Donoghue's study is the idea that metaphor permits the greatest freedom in the use of language because it exempts language from the local duties of reference and denotation. Metaphors conspire with the mind in its enjoyment of freedom. Metaphor celebrates imaginative life par excellence, from Donoghue's musings on Aquinas' Latin hymns, interspersed with autobiographical reflection, to his agile and perceptive readings of Wallace Stevens.

When Donoghue surveys the history of metaphor and resistance to it, going back to Aristotle and forward to George Lakoff, he is a sly, cogent, and persuasive companion. He also addresses the question of whether or not metaphors can ever truly die. Reflected on every page of Metaphor are the accumulated wisdom of decades of reading and a sheer love of language and life.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780674430662
Publisher: Harvard
Publication date: 04/22/2014
Pages: 240
Sales rank: 864,927
Product dimensions: 5.60(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Denis Donoghue has taught English, Irish, and American Literature at University College, Dublin; Cambridge University and King’s College, Cambridge; and New York University.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

Figure 13

After Aristotle 52

No Resemblance 92

"It Ensures That Nothing Goes without a Name" 118

Not Quite against Metaphor 143

The Motive for Metaphor 182

Notes 211

Acknowledgments 227

Index 229

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