3 November – Luzia Goldmann

Transfigurations of Metaphor

When the advocates of cognitive metaphor theories claim the revolutionary character of their theories, it is exactly that revolutionary reframing of the concept ‘Metaphor‘ that places them in a rather old-fashioned tradition. The reframing of the concept of metaphor according to contemporary philosophical, religious and rhetorical dispositions seems to be an on-going negotiation throughout different disciplines and historical periods. In today’s theoretical discussion, though, this diversity seems to be hardly accounted for, given the seemingly unprecedented revision of the concept metaphor offered by cognitive theorists.

My dissertation project aims to outline some of the most influential discourses that framed the concept of metaphor since Aristotle and traces their influence on contemporary concepts of metaphor as held by classical literary scholars. These positions and claims will then be compared to the claims of cognitive theorists in order to identify continuities, breaks and perspectives for a fruitful integration in the field of literary studies. In my presentation at the Metaphor Lab I would like to present and discuss some of my work in progress, mainly focusing on some of the historical lines I am aiming to trace.