Articulation and the Limits of Metaphor

Ernesto Laclau

in A Time for the Humanities

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print November 2008 | ISBN: 9780823229192
Published online March 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823235063 | DOI:
Articulation and the Limits of Metaphor

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This chapter highlights the theory of hegemony in the rhetorical terms of metaphor and metonymy. It presents the political theories of Sorel and Lenin which claim that politics consist in the articulation of heterogeneous elements, and such articulations are structured tropologically. Building on the analysis of metaphor and metonymy in Proust by Gérard Genette, as well as on the analysis of aphasia by Roman Jakobson, it demonstrates both the mutual implication of metaphor and metonymy, and the inseparability of these tropes from any signification and praxis. The chapter argues that in the Marxist vision of history, different stages of diachronic unfolding are conceived as teleological fulfillment; that is, they are conceived metaphorically in terms of essential analogies.

Keywords: articulation; hegemony; metaphor; metonymy; heterogeneous elements

Chapter.  9690 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Philosophy of Mind

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