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Document Details :
Title: Een omgekeerde retorica?
Subtitle: Onderweg naar een ethiek van tropen
Author(s): BIEBUYCK, Benjamin
Journal: Spiegel der Letteren
Volume: 45 Issue: 2 Date: 2003
The pivotal question governing this contribution is whether figurative forms constitute – on their own as well as in interaction with other tropes – representational codes that differ from the dominant narrative discourse of a literary text. If they do so, they may construe additional ethical positionings that imply a reversal of the traditional rhetorical aspirations inhering narrativity: not to exert, but to disperse and to distribute power. To explore this question, the article focuses on the rhetorical scope of verbal metaphors and their relation to similes. As appears from the analysis of examples from Musil’s Mann ohne Eigenschaften, similes and verbal metaphors regularly conjoin into extended rhetorical forms that may develop into self-reliant and autopoetic chains and thus put into action narrative patterns of multiple indirectness. Precisely these patterns open up the possibility of a participative notion of authority, on the level of representation as well as on that of narration.