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Difference and OrientationAn Alexander Kluge Reader$
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Alexander Kluge and Richard Langston

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781501739200

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501739200.001.0001

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What Is a Metaphor?

What Is a Metaphor?

(p.111) 7 What Is a Metaphor?
Difference and Orientation

Alexander Kluge

, Richard Langston
Cornell University Press

This chapter examines the dialogue between Rainer Stollmann and Alexander Kluge wherein they talked about the power and importance of metaphors. Kluge explains that a metaphor is the creation of a web of ideas. He says that Karl Marx's description of primitive accumulation is one of these webs. That is why Marx let English history serve as his example, even though primitive accumulation assumes a different form in every country, which he also acknowledges. Kluge then argues that one needs to dissolve historically specific metaphors. The creation of metaphors is not an end in itself. Their brevity lasts in the time immediately after they evolve. In later eras, they provide a foil or commentary. Ultimately, metaphors do not reflect observations, but instead provoke questions.

Keywords:   Rainer Stollmann, Alexander Kluge, metaphors, Karl Marx, primitive accumulation, ideas, commentary

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