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This article explores the propensity of Iliadic landscape similes to encourage reflections on human fragility. Landscape in the similes is usually interpreted as a medium which conveys a consistent symbolic value (for example storms as the hostility of nature); however, landscape is often a more flexible medium. By offering close readings of three Iliadic similes (winter torrents at 4.452–6, snowfall at 12.279–89 and clear night at 8.555–9), this article argues that landscape allowed the poet to frame the main narrative in various ways, both helping the listener to imagine described events and interrupting the listener's immersion in the main narrative. While many have analysed how similes offer analogies to the main narrative, the ways in which the same simile can also disrupt and reframe the narrative are less understood. This article observes that shifts in narrative space and time played a key role in changing the perspective of the listener. Taking a broadly phenomenological approach, it proposes that embodied descriptions of space, which recreate the experience of the moving body in landscape, invite the listener to consider the temporal scale of the natural world. By looking at how landscape in select similes shifts the listener's spatial and temporal experience, this article argues that landscape contributes to the wider Iliadic theme of human fragility. In particular, it identifies the potential for landscape similes to minimize the scale of human experience, question the possibility of human agency, and reveal the limitations of human perspectives and knowledge.
The difference between literary language and flowery prose. Checking adjectives and adverbs are really doing a job. Detail implies significance: description needs a reason. Description should produce an effect rather than draw attention to itself as an effect. Why clichés endure – and why we should beware them. Metaphors and similes – keeping them real. The debate over modifiers. Muscular verbs. All description comes from a particular standpoint. Describing place. When detail is relevant and how much is too much. Chekhov’s gun. Telling details. Showing instead of telling.
‘We all know, deep in our egotistical little hearts, when we have written something that has no function in the text other than to show off what good writers we think we are. We have at this point stopped communicating with the reader and are being self-indulgent: we have stopped doing our job and are doing something else.’
Very little is known about the processes underlying second language (L2) speakers’ understanding of written metaphors and similes. Moreover, most of the theories on figurative language comprehension do not consider reader-related factors. In the study, we used eye-tracking to examine how native Finnish speakers (N = 63) read written English nominal metaphors (“education is a stairway”) and similes (“education is like a stairway”). Identical topic–vehicle pairs were used in both conditions. After reading, participants evaluated familiarity of each pair. English proficiency was measured using the Bilingual-language Profile Questionnaire and the Lexical Test for Advanced Learners of English. The results showed that readers were more likely to regress within metaphors than within similes, indicating that processing metaphors requires more processing effort than processing similes. The familiarity of a metaphor and L2 English proficiency modulated this effect. The results are discussed in the light of current theories on figurative language processing.
Assesses how Quintus’ interval poetics is revealed in the compositional components of the poem. Analyses the formal aspects of the Posthomerica: vocabulary, formulae, similes and gnomai. Argues that rather than constituting imitatio cum uariatione, these features offer the reader a series of lenses through which to view the poet’s conception of the Homeric text and his understanding of his role in creating more of it.
Chapter launches project of taking Naso’s desire seriously. Reads Naso’s desire alongside Sacher-Masoch’s Venus in Furs, focusing on Naso’s desire to script scenes in which he is at the mercy of his girlfriend; his fascination with the blurred boundary between art-objects and flesh, especially visible in simile-clusters; his interest in castration; and the recurrrence, starting with the poems on Corinna’s abortion, of a “maternal fantasy” in which he plays alternately the mother and the baby. Key poems: Amores 1.7, 2.19, 2.3, 2.4, 2.5, 2.13, 2.14, 2.15
This study investigates the use of similarities in the form of analogy, metaphor, and simile by students and reviewers in an undergraduate architectural design review. In contrast to studies conducted in vitro settings, this study emphasizes the importance of studying analogies, metaphors, and similes in a natural setting. All similarity relationships were coded according to their type, the level of expertise, range, frequency, goal, value judgment, and depth. The results indicate that analogies, metaphors, and similes were used spontaneously and without any difficulty by both reviewers and students. Reviewers, however, were almost twice as likely to evoke similarities. Metaphor was the most frequently used similarity relationship among the three. It was found that there was a significant relationship between the level of expertise and type of similarity, with students more likely to use analogies and less likely to use similes. It was also found that goal is the most important factor, with a significant relation to all other variables, and that embodiment is often invoked in both students’ and reviewers’ metaphors. We conclude that design education should take full advantage of students’ natural ability to benefit from similarity relationships.
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