Thursday, April 30, 2009

Drifting from metaphor to point of view, 1977

While closet cleaning I came across the cover sheet from a paper I'd written for a communications class at UW in 1977. The professor's comments were intact but the paper itself was missing:

This is an extremely thought-provoking paper. It offers an idea of considerable consequence. Let me sketch my reactions

1. the argument seems tight to page and becomes clear at the paragraph “nice.”
2. Thereafter the argument becomes either faulty, unclear, or itself a metaphor.
3. The argument must carry the character of metaphor, i.e. a tenon and vehicle (two parts) which are not commonly linked (expectations violated) but have sufficient commonality at some level so that the info associated with one (either/both) illuminates aspects of the other.
4. It seems to me that your arguments drifts from metaphor (characterized as above) to perspective or point of view. But, a metaphor involves the juxtapposition of perspectives, not merely the existence of a non-unique perspective.
5. Some metaphors are inappropriate (linguistically)- do we not carry this constraint to behavioral metaphors, e.g. the first man to treat poison ivy as a salad green probably found it an inappropriate choice.
6. I would recommend Koestler’s The Act of Creation since it discusses creativity, humor, and just about everything else in terms of the juxtaposition of perspectives. Grade: A

Grade and comments-midterm paper
John Eklund
“Human Behavior as Metaphor”
Comm Arts 472- Prof Joe Cappella

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