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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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Metaphor and the Anxiety of Fictiveness

Metaphor and the Anxiety of Fictiveness

St. Augustine

Chapter:
(p.75) Eight Metaphor and the Anxiety of Fictiveness
Source:
Figures of a Changing World
Author(s):

Harry Berger

Publisher:
Fordham University Press
DOI:10.5422/fordham/9780823257478.003.0008

This chapter offers a premise that states how demetaphorizing and metonymizing are most effective when remaining unconscious—or what sociologists call latent or unintended functions. The moment these processes become culturally approved, they begin to endanger the structure of order and redundancy they are trying to sustain. The chapter discusses St. Augustine's response to this issue. He argues that all language is a metaphorical deviation from the road to God since no pattern of words, even proper words, can sufficiently represent such an atemporal and holistic significance. His discovery of the fictive character of earthly existence is not directed towards amplifying human control over it and argues the constitutive power is man's weakness and evidence of his fallibility.

Keywords:   St. Augustine, demetaphorizing, metonymizing, language, constitutive power

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