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Author ORCID Identifier

https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3772-6297 Hołda Małgorzata

Abstract

The article addresses the issue of the intimate but troublesome liaison between philosophy and literature—referred to in scholarship as “the ancient quarrel between poets and philosophers.” Its aim is double-fold. First, it traces the interweaving paths of philosophical and literary discourse on the example of Wallace Stevens’s oeuvre. It demonstrates that this great American modernist advocates a clear distinction between poetry and philosophy on the one hand, but draws on and dramatizes philosophical ideas in his poems on the other. The vexing character of his poetic works exemplifies the convoluted and inescapable connections between philosophy and poetry. Second, it discusses various approaches to metaphor, highlighting Stevens’s inimitable take on it. The diverse ways of tackling metaphorical language cognize metaphor’s re-descriptive and reconfiguring character. They embrace e.g., Stevens’s concept of metaphor as metamorphosis, or as “resemblance rather than imitation.” The to date interpretations of Stevens’s poetry in the light of a whole host of philosophies yield important insights into the meaningful interconnections between poetry and philosophy. However, rather than offering another interpretation of his poems from a given philosophical angle, the versatile voices presented here interrogate what poetry consists in.

Keywords

metaphor, philosophy, poetry, re-configuration, Wallace Stevens

Disciplines

American Literature | American Studies | Arts and Humanities | Literature in English, North America | Philosophy

References

Altieri, Charles. Wallace Stevens and the Demands of Modernity: Toward a Phenomenology of Value. New York: Cornell UP, 2013. Print.

Bartczak, Kacper, and Jakub Mácha, eds. Wallace Stevens: Poetry, Philosophy, and the Figurative Language. Studies in Philosophy of Language and Linguistics 13. Berlin: Peter Lang, 2018. Print. https://doi.org/10.3726/b14736

Black, Max. Models and Metaphors: Studies in Language and Philosophy. Ithaca, NY: Cornell UP, 1962. Print. https://doi.org/10.7591/9781501741326

Blasko, Dawn G. “Only the Tip of the Iceberg: Who Understands What About Metaphor.” Journal of Pragmatics 31 (1999): 1675–83. Print. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0378-2166(99)00009-0

Critchley, Simon. Things Merely Are. London: Routledge, 2005. Print.

Miłosz, Czesław. “Incantation.” The Collected Poems 1931–1987. New York: Ecco, 1988. 210. Print.

Punter, David. Metaphor. London: Routledge, 2007. Print.

Ricœur, Paul. The Rule of Metaphor: The Creation of Meaning in Language. Trans. Robert Czerny, Kathleen McLaughlin and John Costello, SJ. London: Routledge, 2004. Print. https://doi.org/10.4324/9780203426616

Stevens, Wallace. Collected Poems. New York: A. A. Knopf, 1954. Print.

Stevens, Wallace. Collected Poetry and Prose. New York: Library of America, 1997. Print.

Stevens, Wallace. Opus Posthumous. Ed. Milton J. Bates. New York/ London: A. A. Knopf, 1989/1990. Print.

Stevens, Wallace. The Necessary Angel. Essays on Reality and Imagination. New York: A. A. Knopf, 1951. Print.

Wittgenstein, Ludwig. Remarks on the Philosophy of Psychology. Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1980. Print.

First Page

423

Last Page

432

Language

eng

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