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The Meaning of Suffering: Symbolism and Antisymbolism in the Death of Tristan

  • Laura Ashe
Part of the The New Middle Ages book series (TNMA)

Abstract

The twelfth century saw the reinvention of fiction, in western Europe, as a mode of expression and exploration. But from its inception, fiction begins a slide into ideology; its methods are appropriated by the proponents of political, nationalistic, racial, cultural, and behavioral ideals. This is evidently because, despite the ostensible lack of external referential-ity which characterizes fiction, language is itself organized according to cultural patterns, as Paul Ricoeur suggests:

Discourse cannot fail to be about something…In one manner or another, poetic texts speak about the world. But not in a descriptive way…The reference here is not abolished, but divided or split. The effacement of the ostensive and descriptive reference liberates a power of reference to aspects of our being in the world that cannot be said in a direct descriptive way, but only alluded to, thanks to the referential values of metaphoric and, in general, symbolic expression.1

Keywords

Twelfth Century Medieval Literature Poetic Text White Hand Behavioral Ideal 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

  1. 1.
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Copyright information

© Ruth Kennedy and Simon Meecham-Jones 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Laura Ashe

There are no affiliations available

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