metaphorical mountain

Anyone else find metaphors hard?

So much of literariness seems to live in these kinds of patterns and devices.

I think metaphors are great for alerting readers to subtext. It seems like one of the more democratic devices. Although I think I’m not supposed to worry about this in such a mechanical way, it seems somehow fair to me.

My tutor says she writes only for herself and doesn’t think about her audience. I suppose I am writing for myself, or someone like me, as so many texts baffle me and seem to be about something that they’re not sharing, or to which I don’t have access.  I don’t want to write like that.

Taken to an extreme, this is an argument for subtitles or little explanatory essays, which actually might make an interesting or amusing form, although, I don’ t think it’s a form I’ll be trying soon.

Chapter 5, in which the writer uses stichomythia and prolepsis to generate energy and intrigue in the brain of the reader. Oh, and look out for the protagonist’s peripataeic question about chairs.

Maybe not.

I suppose I just feel I want to give my readers a chance, to include them. Perhaps I just want them to like me, which would be very unhealthy; or to get that I can do ‘literariness’, also bad, a form of showing off. I hope not.

I think I just want to try out some of these new things I have learnt about and see if I am right about literariness being a form of patterned embellishment.

Meantime I’m trying to devise a formula for metaphors. Surely there must be a website out there?

Cathy x

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8 comments on “metaphorical mountain
  1. andy bloom says:

    Read someone who uses few of them… have you had a peep at Raymond Carver? His writing is so sophisticated but yet somehow so unflowery…
    I’ll get back on the case with Help 20110323 soon…

  2. cesamilton says:

    i feel im drowning in metaphor . could you say that metaphor is a lie used to cushion the truth . picasso says art is a lie which illuminates the truth . is that what metaphor is . what about text without metaphor . hemmingway was good at straight talking . this is probly al irelevnt but fun . rock on . is that a metaphor

  3. cesamilton says:

    i kno . hemingway . can nevr rmbr .

  4. Metaphor is an evident untruth which ought to illuminate the truth … eg a traffic jam. You can’t make jam out of cars. I don’t think it would be fun trying. The rubber would stink and I don’t think they would set well with the sugar. Cathy x

  5. I’m reading Raymond Carver. It’s ALL metaphor. At least I hope it is. Because each time I finish one of his stories I have this nagging sensation that I haven’t ‘got it’. I’m assuming the ‘it’ is some huge whacking great symbolic metaphorical whatchamacallit that has totally slipped under my literary radar.

    The alternative is that Carver likes writing weird stories about fathers and bicycles where nothing actually happens.

    I’m having Emperor’s New Clothes suspicion.

    • BT has nixed our land connection so no new posts for a bit. I tried a metaphor about a bowl that would’t fit in the dishwasher becos it was different from the other bowls and my friend who read the piece and is a massive brainbox asked me to explain ‘the significance of the bowl’. I think I have a way to go, speaking metaphorically …

      • None of my bowls fit in the dishwasher. My dishwasher is designed for shallow round bowls and mine are deep and hexagonal.

        I’m not sure what that’s a metaphor for. I guess I either need therapy or a new set of crockery.

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