Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Metaphor = ?



Metaphor = language used to dramatize the material presence by lending it moral relevance.

Metaphor = language used to milk the facts or to lend them some meaning.

Metaphor = language used to talk about one thing while more or less obviously portraying another.
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My friend, I've seen comets out there that couldn't even lay down inside the orbits of our noblest comets without their tails hanging over.

It is Mark Twain metaphorically turning the orbit into a soup plate and the comet into a spaghetti arrangement, i.e. setting the cosmos up on the dish rack, i.e. demystifying it.

Demystifying the cosmos is beneficial for all of us and sometimes most urgently needed.
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la ora, la mas eskura, es para amaneser
as the Sefardim used to say, and they would have known that quite clearly. Along with its startling commas, it is the world's prettiest syllogism.
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To lend meaning : this expression  would no longer be considered metaphorical, because it has become standard vocabulary and no longer evokes an ad hoc way of creating meaning. However, it is a mistake to think that metaphors are the domain of poets and nebulous thinking.

To illustrate this, I'll copy this last paragraph and mark the items that still show their origin. To those who know Latin or Greek,  many more are obvious.

this expression  would no longer be considered metaphorical, because it has become standard vocabulary and no longer evokes an ad hoc way of creating meaning. However, it is a mistake to think that metaphors are the domain of poets and nebulous thinking.

Cartoonists also depend on metaphor, as shown above in examples of the work of

Chris Madden  http://tinyurl.com/6xr4wf 
Ivn Anchuokov  http://www.cartoonstock.com/portfolios/Ivan_Anchuokov.asp
Mike Lester http://www.mikelester.com/illustration.html
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How is that different from a Simile?

A simile serves mainly for clarification without conveying any  meaning of a deeper or more personal, subjective kind:

"The rich part of Madrid is a triangle to the north of Nuevos Ministerios".

"Italy has the shape of a boot."

But keep in mind two things:

>>> There is no way to standardize or control language definitions.

>>>  There are many mixed examples of similes that do show a metaphorical intention or a subjective appreciation, for instance:

She is like a rose in the morning.

He is like a parrot in a cage.
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The best solution is to use "figurative expression" for all of these.
There are interminably many types and they can be classified like flowers to keep teachers and students busy.
 
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