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A bigger splash to the narrative

Vinicius Oliveira Sanfelice

pp. 90-107

The objective of this article is to offer an example of a work of art identified with what Paul Ricœur named polysemy or linguistic density. Some works of art exemplify a metaphoricity in their constitution and the metaphor would be a privileged model for the analysis of figurative art and of allusive figuration. I believe that the painting A Bigger Splash by David Hockney has an image game that is also a language game: the aesthetic figuration as semantic link between the verbal and the non-verbal, between the poetic and the pictorial. I argue that figuration through metaphoricity also exemplifies an ambiguity in Ricœur’s philosophy of language, and the distinction between the field of the pre-narrative and the narrative of the artwork clarify the aesthetic aspect of his theory of metaphor. The advantage of my example is that the immanent analysis of the metaphoric constitution of the work of art is compatible with the isolation of its narrative elements. The metaphoric redescription in painting should not be automatically extended to the narrative refiguration.

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