O. M. Freidenberg’s Concept of Metaphor in Ancient and Modern Contexts
This essay reveals the interpretive potential and the pathbreaking quality of Olga Freidenberg’s historical construal of metaphor as a mediating term between mythical image and philosophical concept. Martin considers Freidenberg’s theory in relation to Greek primary texts (focusing on Pindar), to the history of theorizing figurative language (including Quintilian, Cicero, Hobbes, and Locke), and to modern cognitive and anthropological approaches to metaphor. In combining attention to the history of a formal element and the history of its theorization, as well as stressing the longue durée and a broadly comparative approach, the essay provides one model for how Historical Poetics can be practiced today.
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