Posts Tagged: metaphor

Chewing Rocks: A Conversation with David Biespiel

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David Biespiel discusses his new book, The Education of a Young Poet, being comfortable in uncertainty, and extending moments in writing. ...more

The Rumpus Interview With Danielle Trussoni

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Danielle Trussoni discusses her new memoir, The Fortress, black magic, the cult of marriage, and the dark side of storytelling. ...more

My Voice for Their Drugs

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Anxiety disorients me from inside. My heart moves so erratically I’m afraid it will give out, my breath so staggered I have to remind myself to take in air. ...more

A Story to Use and Reuse

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At Necessary Fiction, Anna Rowser’s story “Breaking Down” effectively uses the subject of recycling as a metaphor to subtly explore what the narrator wants, needs, uses, reuses, and casts off both physically and emotionally. It’s fiction that makes you rethink what you’ve been throwing away:

Despite her best efforts, she was doing little to hold back that day when there would be no more land left to fill.

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This Week in Short Fiction

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This week at Recommended Reading, PEN America offers an excerpt from Brazilian author Noemi Jaffe’s novel Írisz: as orquídeas, which is remarkable for many reasons, one of them being that this is so far the only opportunity to read part of the Portuguese-language novel in English translation.

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The Rumpus Interview with Miroslav Penkov

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Miroslav Penkov discusses his debut novel, Stork Mountain, Balkan history, and the difficulties and rewards of being a bilingual writer. ...more

The Saturday Rumpus Review: Güeros

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It’s a literal confrontation of his metaphorical fear, a visual take on Rilke’s words: to view Güeros is to see a “thing poem” on the screen, to witness something like “The Panther” materialize. ...more

This Week in Short Fiction

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There are countless metaphors for love: a rose, a flame, a garden, a loaded gun, a battlefield. We’ve heard them all—or so we thought. This week at Electric Literature’s Recommended Reading, Joyland editor Lisa Locascio recommended Amelia Gray’s story, “The Swan as Metaphor for Love.” The title sounds lovely, evoking peaceful lakes and graceful swan necks bent toward each other, beaks kissing, to form the shape of a heart.

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How to Chart a Course Through the Metaphors in Your Mind

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Why do we refer to our minds in terms of seas and cartography, anyway? Find out by consulting your sextant and the first online metaphor map. The chart boasts over 14,000 metaphorical connections, sourced from 4,000,000 lexical data points by a few Scottish researchers who now (presumably) have some excellent new phrases for spinning yarns and embroidering thoughts at dinner parties.

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Crafting a Metaphor

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One thing you learn very quickly as a metaphor designer is that your language and your culture’s resources aren’t infinite. Nor are they as versatile as you might hope. The richness of the semantic resources that a designer can muster always encounter friction from the human brain’s built-in biases and preferences, as well as cultural defaults that block certain kinds of understandings.

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Places Where Art is Made

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We often look to metaphor for guidance in our constant search for the how and why of writing. In an essay at The Millions comparing writing to running, Nick Ripatrazone explains that training is not just an analogy for his creative process but an essential part of it:

Training sharpens ideas by cutting away the chaff that tends to accumulate during that long time on the trail, where the mind can wander; training blurs those ideas to the surreal places where art is made.

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Treatment as Metaphor

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In our daily efforts to stay healthy, to invent solutions for staving off death, have we already put ourselves in treatment for diseases yet to come? Conner Habib writes about his cancer diagnosis over at The Stranger, challenging Susan Sontag’s argument against seeing illness as a metaphor by revealing the ways in which we can’t help but give it meaning:

We reach out to the hand that promises to pull us to shore.

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A Dog Named Human

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For me, the perfect metaphor for rethinking our relationship to other species comes in the form of a dog named “Human,”owned and “curated” by French artist Pierre Huyghe, in his retrospective currently on view at LACMA. Ironically enough, such a simple act of naming invites deep rethinking of our own human position in the world.

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Women Dying from Being Women

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Anne Boyer writes about the history of breast cancer for The New Inquiry.

There is no disease more calamitous to women’s intellectual history than breast cancer: this is because there is no disease more distinctly calamitous to women. There is also no disease more voluminous in its agonies, agonies not only about the disease itself, but also about what is not written about it, or whether to write about it, or how.

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The Rumpus Interview with Richard Ford

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Pulitzer Prize–winning novelist Richard Ford discusses his new book, Let Me Be Frank With You, how metaphor shapes our world, and why he doesn't like the idea he has a battery to recharge. ...more

The Big Idea: Eula Biss

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On Immunity author Eula Biss speaks to Suzanne Koven about mythology, personal freedom, and the history of vaccines. ...more

From Metaphor to Consciousness

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Neuroscientists are examining metaphors and finding that they’re essential to language. Modern brain scanning has allowed scientists to look at brain activity as the brain employs metaphors from language. What has been found is that the brain interprets metaphors literally. For instance,  metaphors based on actions involving the body activate areas of the brain that normally activate when the body is in motion.

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