L14F7 - Lecture 14 (07/02/11) Symbolism - French...

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Lecture 14 (07/02/11) Symbolism - French anthropologist – Spellbere?? (Look at précis for actual name) - Trying to provide a solution to understanding symbolism that applies to all instances of symbolism - Comes up with the theory that does this and explains things we wouldn’t call symbolism - Symbolism isn’t a matter of decoding (as opposed to language or other semiological systems) where there is a code that already exists and you need to get the code to get the meaning - With symbolism he sees a process of improvisation, this improvisation relies on both implicit and conscious knowledge o Implicit – things we know but don’t talk about o Unconscious knowledge – implicit knowledge we don’t consciously recognize that we know - Both of these kinds of knowledge (as well as other kinds) can be a basis for a symbolic improvisation - For Spellbere – the characteristic for symbolism is a cognitive (anything that relates to our knowledge of the world) mechanism - A symbolism mechanism has 2 features – focalization and evocation o Ex.” The husband of my aunt is single” o There is internal contradiction – if someone is a husband then they aren’t single - Focalization – focussing one’s attention on something that is problematic - Evocation is the other half – where having seen the problem… So what can I find that makes this sentence meaningful? This is the process of evocation - Interpretations of this sentence: o They have an open marriage o Could have mixed up their word choice o Sperbere gives the example – in this case it might mean that his wife is not there (she’s gone on a trip) so it’s as if he were single
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L14F7 - Lecture 14 (07/02/11) Symbolism - French...

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