Mimesis and Metaphor

Eder, Thomas (2003) Mimesis and Metaphor. In: UNSPECIFIED Austrian Ludwig Wittgenstein Society, pp. 106-108.


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"Representation", "imitation" and "mirroring" have proved to be insufficient translations of the concept of mimesis. Walter Benjamin's notion of "mimetic potential" offers a different view on the qualities of mimesis. Benjamin stresses the importance of language and its mediality to mimesis; for him language is the "höchste Stufe des mimetischen Verhaltens und das vollkommenste Archiv der unsinnlichen Ähnlichkeit" (Benjamin 1991, Bd. II/1, 213) He considers mimesis on the level of linguistic mediality. In the following I will try to outline the mimetic potential of metaphors in literary texts which focus on their linguistic mediality. As Paul Ricoeur suggests, "the possibility that metaphorical discourse says something about reality collides with the apparent constitution of poetic discourse, which seems to be essentially non-referential and centred on itself. To this non-referential conception of poetic discourse I oppose the idea that the suspension of literal reference is the condition for the release of a power of second-degree reference which is properly poetic reference. Thus, to use an expression borrowed from Jakobson, one must not speak only of split sense but of 'split reference' as well." (Ricoeur 1977, 6)

Item Type: Book Section
Uncontrolled Keywords: mimetic potential; metaphors; liguistics; Benjamin, W.; Ricoeur, P.; Goodman, N.; Kuhn, T;
Subjects: Philosophie > Philosophische Journale, Kongresse, Vereinigungen > Wittgenstein Symposium Kirchberg, Pre-Proceedings > Kirchberg 2003
Philosophie > Philosophische Disziplinen > Sprachphilosophie
Depositing User: Stefan Köstenbauer
Date Deposited: 25 Jun 2007
Last Modified: 08 Sep 2011 18:52
URI: http://sammelpunkt.philo.at/id/eprint/1566

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