15 March 2012

There is in the mind a change or shift of distance, which Aristotle calls an epiphora, bringing two heterogeneous things close to reveal their kinship. The innovation of metaphor occurs in this shift of distance from far to near, and it is effected by imagination. A virtuoso act of imagination brings the two things together, sees their incongruence, then sees also a new congruence, meanwhile continuing to recognize the previous incongruence through the new congruence. Both the ordinary, literal sense and a novel sense are present at once in the words of a metaphor; both the ordinary, descriptive reference and a novel reference are held in tension by the metaphor’s way of looking at the world.
Ann Carson, Eros the Bittersweet: 73.

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