Workshop in Poetics: Joshua Landy

Thu October 19th 2023, 4:00 - 6:00pm
Event Sponsor
Division of Literatures, Cultures, and Languages
Building 260, Pigott Hall
450 Jane Stanford Way, Building 260, Stanford, CA 94305
Rm 216

Please join the next Workhop in Poetics event with Prof. Joshua Landy (Stanford University).

"Two Ways of Looking at Metaphor"

This pair of essays looks at two different affordances of metaphor. 

The first, 'Dwelling in Metaphor,' wonders why we sometimes seem to delight in metaphor for its own sake—in cases where, if the aim were just to transmit beliefs and ideas, literal language would have done just as well. Is it about community, defamiliarization, expression, mental training, escaping the tyranny of time, or feeling at home in the world? Examples here will be drawn from Toni Morrison, Virginia Woolf, Charles Baudelaire, Marcel Proust, the Gospel of Mark, Seinfeld, and snarky remarks about dodgy politicians. 

The second essay, 'Gender Trouble (and Cognitive Science) in Baudelaire,' examines a surprisingly common occurrence in Les Fleurs du mal: grammatically masculine nouns compared to grammatically feminine nouns and vice versa. Could such comparisons (whether metaphors or similes) jar the mind out of its ruts of thought, even if briefly? Might they even chip away at a pernicious ideological system, one so deeply entrenched its victims are barely aware of it?