In his article, "Comparative Literature and the Ideology of Metaphor, East and West," Karl S.Y. Kao offers a comparative reading of the ideological function of metaphor within Eastern and Western thinking. Nietzsche is recognized as the earliest serious challenger to the concepts of meaning and truth within the West, whilst Derrida and de Man are discussed with respect to their conception that figurality is inherent within -- and integral to -- Western philosophical and literary discourse. Parallel to this conception of conceptuality is the Eastern view of language and literature. Kao notes that the Western opposition between logic and rhetoric is not inherent within -- or integral to -- Eastern thought. He examines various rhetorical figures within Eastern philosophy and literature and a contrasting between affective (expressive; East) and mimetic (representational; West) is urged and interrogated. Eastern thought may be distinguished by an awareness of the problematical status of the conceptuality of thought. Despite this awareness, parallel problems threaten to emerge -- whilst the West has tried to inaugurate a distinction between metaphor and concept, the East has tended to subsume them. On the one hand, we encounter a problematical distinction between meaning and truth; on the other hand, we encounter a problematic equivocation.
Kao, Karl S.Y.
"Comparative Literature and the Ideology of Metaphor, East and West."
CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture
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