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Figures of a Changing WorldMetaphor and the Emergence of Modern Culture$
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Harry Berger, Jr.

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780823257478

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823257478.001.0001

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Metonymy, Metaphor, and Perception

Metonymy, Metaphor, and Perception

De Man and Nietzsche

(p.25) Four Metonymy, Metaphor, and Perception
Figures of a Changing World

Harry Berger

Fordham University Press

In his book Allegories of Reading, Paul de Man reviews Friedrich Nietzsche's notion that the paradigmatic structure of language is rhetorical instead of representational. This chapter presents discussions in which de Man differentiates between metaphor and metonymy after Jakobson's approach: paradigmatic versus syntagmatic, analogy versus contiguity, and poetic versus prosaic. In addition, de Man analyzes Marcel Proust's transgressive play with the two figures, underlining the divided practice of a text in which the direct preference for metaphor cannot seem to prevent its poetry from dissolving into the prose of metonymy. The purpose of de Man's reading of The Birth of Tragedy by Nietzsche is to demonstrate the undecidability of the text, arguing that any attempt to associate Nietzsche with a theory about metaphor and metonymy would be unreasonable.

Keywords:   Paul de Man, Friedrich Nietzsche, Allegories of Reading, The Birth of Tragedy, metaphor, metonymy, Marcel Proust

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