Rita Messori

Metaphor, Figure, Corporeality. The Lesson of Valéry

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Keywords: Metaphor; Figure; Poetics; Dance; Body.

Cognitive studies on metaphor conducted by Lakoff and Johnson have highlighted the metaphorical structure of thought, from which originates the language. This conceptual structure is firmly anchored in the experience sensitive and perceptive, in empirical gestalt that allow us to structure the experience itself. The relationship between pre-conceptual and conceptual becomes evident in poetic language, able to create new metaphors, beyond the conventional schemes. Especially important to understand the difference between prosaic and poetic level (of action, thought and language) is the poetics of Valéry. As shown Valéry, poetic language is creative because «highlights» the very genesis of the metaphorical language, and the relationship between pre-conceptual dimension and conceptual dimension. In this way poetry can be recovered as a description of the operating procedures that allow us to move from an ordinary user to a non-ordinary use of language and to put in place an ordinary use renewal. According to Valéry, the operation that comes to light in the language's poetic use is constitutive unity of body and thought, understood as a process of figuration. To discover the body size of the figure, it is necessary to investigate the meaning it takes on in the art of dance. The art of dance can help us better understand the complexity of the act of figuration and its innovative and creative skills.

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