Body Action

In The literary mind. New York: Oxford University Press (1996)
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Abstract

The chapter explores the similarities between the human mind and the patterns of the parable which are vital to daily thought, action, and reasoning. Spatial stories involving actors and bodily action are projected onto stories involving spatial and nonspatial events and actions with and without actors to support the book's basic premise. The parable is able to expand the range of a simple action story by projecting this onto unfamiliar or complex event stories through patterns such as events are actions, and this is illustrated with a passage from Homer's Odyssey. Events are then shown to possess internal structures based on image schemas, enabling humans to process and understand them. A section is also devoted to the discussion of “the invariance principle”, which states that projections are not arbitrary and avoid image-schematic clashes in the target. Excerpts from Robert Browning's “Porphyria's Lover” and Euripides' Alcestis are used to illustrate this principle.

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