Margins of Metaphorology. Contribution to the General Theory of Metaphor

Project Details


This essay will be part of the general theory of metaphor will essentially and explore the unfrequentedmargins of this theory by taking up and continuing studies previously carried out. He begins by describingthe upheaval caused by the emergence of cognitive approaches to metaphor. The progress made by this fieldof psychology, especially by acquiring computer tools, has provoked both fascination and reluctance. In thefield of literary criticism and French semantics, a feeling of dispossession remains among theorists who havelong regarded metaphor as a linguistic phenomenon whose study was reserved for them. In theoreticalproduction, specialists share the metaphorical phenomenon in two apparently irreconcilable groups, despitetheir obvious kinship: conventional metaphors and creative metaphors. The fact that much of this theoreticalcontribution comes from the English-speaking world reinforces this sharing. The interpretations are almost asnumerous as there are currents of thought. Semantics, stylistics, cognitive psychology, hermeneutics eachproposed a response without really being able to go beyond the dichotomy. We will seek to refresh the debateby addressing the question of metaphor from unusual angles - history, media, dialectics, literary theory ofpossible worlds, sinology. Then taking over the work of an imaginary heritage of humanity (Malraux, Durand,Eco), we hope to build progressively an original and relevant definition of the metaphor.Apart from asserting that it is frozen, a metaphor is rarely analysed in its diachrony. This is why we will beinterested in the inscription of the metaphor in time and we will try to draw theoretical consequences. Tostudy what appears to us as an imaginary heritage, we will have recourse to mediation, a new disciplinefounded by Régis Debray who studies the technical media of transmission. Nous aurons recours pourcomprendre comment fonctionne ce nouveau medium à la notion de dialectique and we will ask how themetaphorical mechanism can serve rational thinking. Without losing sight of the historical dimension of themetaphor, we must identify the moment of creation, if it exists and if there really is a sharing between vividmetaphor and conventional metaphor. For this we will have recourse to the notion of terrain, a notion dear tothe journalist and the sociologist. And of course, from the notion of terrain, we will slip towards that of"vision" and "vision of the world", as many fuzzy concepts associated with metaphor and which shouldreceive a more technical definition. This is what we propose by using the literary theory of possible worlds.After describing the principle of imaginary heritage by locating the metaphor in diachrony, we will beinterested in synchrony. It is then to the translatology - via sinology - and to the problems of translation of themetaphor that we will be interested. Thus we hope to give a solid theoretical foundation to the concept of"imaginary heritage of humanity". We can finally discuss the scientific ambition of literary criticism whosefate is uncertain.
Effective start/end date1/08/1731/07/18

UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This project contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production
  • SDG 17 - Partnerships for the Goals


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