chapter  5
19 Pages

Literary Criticism Writes Back to Metaphor Theory: Exploring the Relation between Extended Metaphor and Narrative in Literature: Bo Pettersson


The relation between extended metaphor and narrative in literary studies has not received as much attention as it deserves. Elsewhere, I have called for a rapprochement of the fi gural and narrative trends in cognitive literary studies and proposed possible ways of achieving this end in theory (Pettersson 2001, 2005). By analysing some poetry and fi ction, I here aim to explore what literary-critical practice might suggest about the relation between extended metaphor and narrative. As such, this project is nothing new in cognitive metaphor studies (consider, for instance, the work of Donald and Margaret Freeman). However, many practitioners have concentrated on a top-down search for cognitive metaphors, despite the emphasis on the body-related basis of meaning. As we shall see, some conclusions to be derived from a bottom-up literary-critical practice are rather far-ranging. I will suggest that broad hermeneutic-generic circles with attention to the specifi cs of each literary work are best suited to produce lasting literarycritical contributions. Thus, I argue that literary-critical practice and its recognition of the richness of sense and sensa (sensuous qualities, as discussed in Hester 1967: 76 and passim) in literature should inform cognitive literary theory.