Sunday, August 30, 2009

Physiology of the Metaphor

When Corradi Fiumara speaks of metaphoricity implying a "physiological" transformation of meanings she is not merely giving us an analogy (Metaphoric, p. 55). "The use of metaphoric language," she says, appears to be "profoundly interwoven with the actual development of our inner life" (ibid.). She implies that the recognition of personal uniqueness logically requires the recognition of the metaphoricity of language (p. 52). Are "inner messages" then born of a lived metaphoricity? Do we possibly know personal uniqueness prior to language, or does it even make sense to speak of prelinguistic knowledge? How broadly does one defines language? So broadly as to merge linguisticity with hominization, as Corradi Fiumara seems to do, to see them as interwoven in an evolution of meanings? Of course this kind of knowledge of language would be premised upon access to a metaphoricity—a mode of a speaker's paradox.

If contextual linguistic knowledge itself expresses a metaphoric potential of language, to draw the most from Corradi Fiumara's rejection of the idea of any naturally occurring zero-context utterance (pp. 156-157, note 12), then there is a sense in which linguistic capacity is interwoven with metalinguistic capacity. We see language as being about the interpersonal world. Translation would by this account not be premised on metaphoricity in a way that would allow us to isolate its conditions of possibility from those of language so much as the translative would represent one of the modalities of the metaphoric process of contextualization. The translational encounter, the allusion between "languages" (the emblamaticized formal representations of phatic communities), provokes transformational awarenesses, decipherments, which give rise to the within of language, the recognition of an ipseity in speaking—here I may be significantly departing from Corradi Fiumara, though we both agree on the (eudaimonial, therapeutic, epistemological, affective, human) importance of listening to inner messages, for my intuition is that the withinness of the personal is created. It's a metaphor, or to speak "metaphorically" though not merely so, a translation.

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posted by Fido the Yak at 10:12 AM.


Blogger amarilla said...

I'm compelled by certain phrases you use here and your interest in language, metaphor and embodiment to ask if you've ever read any of Arnold Mindell's work, only because it was from him that I made headway in my scant ability to "listen to inner messages," and insight into translating physical symptoms into metaphors and textures that help to reincorporate elements of essence that for some reason get waysided. I found "Working on Yourself Alone, Inner Dreambody Work" incredibly interesting as well as "Dreambody: The Body’s Role in Revealing the Self." I mention his work because it provided for me a means of approaching a "translational encounter" with symptoms of my entrenchment.

August 30, 2009 11:51 AM  
Blogger Fido the Yak said...

I haven't read any Mindell but thanks for mentioning him, because his work definitely sounds illuminating. Dreambody is now on my list of books to check out the next time I'm at the library.

August 30, 2009 1:05 PM  

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