chapter  6
Understanding Metaphor in Literature: Towards an Empirical Study
Pages 17

My basic premise is that reading as a cognitive process is essentially constructive (see Groeben 1982). Recent psychological research into metaphor has indicated that people are able to identify, comprehend, and appreciate metaphors differently according to different circumstances; these types of cognition can thus be said to be constructive, since their results are dependent on the activity of the language user and on the context rather than solely dependent on the forms and meanings of language itself. Whether and to what extent this process of construction is determined by particular types of discourse has not been investigated systematically. It is my aim to explore the actual shape of the identification, comprehension, and appreciation of metaphor in one type of discourse, literature, in comparison with non-literary discourse.