Is Iconicity Literal? Cognitive Poetics and the LITERAL Concept in Poetry
THE LITERAL AND NONLITRAL IN LANGUATE AND THOUGHT, Seana Coulson and Barbara Lewandowska-Tomaszczyk, eds., pp. 65-83. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang, 2005
24 Pages Posted: 1 Jul 2009 Last revised: 6 Jul 2009
Date Written: 2005
In this paper I attempt a descriptive analysis of the conceptual domain of LITERAL as it is employed in literary studies in order to show that there is indeed a theoretical basis for use of the term "literal,"and that this theoretical basis enables distinctions to be made, on the one hand, between the text itself and the writer and reader, and, on the other, between the writer in producing and the reader in processing the literary text. In the first part, I briefly survey the term "literal" as it is used in literary criticism and show how these senses are related in a conceptual network in order to lay the groundwork for my argument for literal iconicity. In the second part, I show how some of the principles of cognitive poetics put this literal/non-literal distinction into new perspective, and apply them to a cognitive interpretation of an Emily Dickinson poem.
Keywords: literal/non-literal, conceptual domain, cognitive poetics, iconicity, Emily Dickinson
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