Mimesis and Metaphor

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

[thumbnail of eder.pdf] PDF

Download (125kB)


"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
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: Wolfgang Heuer
Date Deposited: 06 Dec 2020 14:41
Last Modified: 06 Dec 2020 14:41
URI: http://sammelpunkt.philo.at/id/eprint/3027

Actions (login required)

View Item
View Item