Volume 15, Issue 2 (2024)                   LRR 2024, 15(2): 163-189 | Back to browse issues page

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BAHRAMI F, ABDI S. Metaphorical Creativity in Zakaria Tamer’s Short Story Collection (Sahil al- Javad al-Abyad, Damascus al – Haraiq case study ). LRR 2024; 15 (2) :163-189
URL: http://lrr.modares.ac.ir/article-14-57978-en.html
1- PhD Candidate, Department of Arabic Language and Literature, Bu-Ali Sina University, Hamedan, Iran
2- Associate Professor, Department of Arabic Language and Literature, Bu-Ali Sina University, Hamedan, Iran , s.abdi@basu.ac.ir
Abstract:   (1642 Views)
Cognitive linguists do not negate the metaphorical creativity inherent in the works of poets and writers. According to the ‘Cognitive Poetics’ theory proposed by Lakoff and Turner (1989), poets and writers frequently employ the same conventional conceptual metaphors in their compositions that are prevalent in everyday language. The creative aspect of poetry emerges from the adept manipulation and modification of these commonplace conceptual metaphors, achieved through the application of four conceptual tools: expansion, complication, questioning, and combination. The primary objective of this research is to introduce these strategies and assess their applicability in conducting a cognitive analysis of certain novel metaphors found in two collections of short stories authored by Zakaria Tamer (1931), a distinguished contemporary Syrian writer. The analysis of the data indicates that Tamer has utilized the same everyday conceptual metaphors in his narratives. Consequently, the creativity exhibited by this author could potentially be attributed to the proficient application of the aforementioned tools in the usage of ordinary metaphors. Based on the data analysis, it is observed that Tamer, in the creation of the metaphors examined, has predominantly employed the tool of combination, sparingly used the tool of questioning, and has made moderate use of the tools of expansion and complication. The findings also suggest that Tamer, through his judicious use of metaphor, not only imparts elegance and beauty to his prose but also effectively communicates the underlying concepts and messages of his stories to the reader.
1. Introduction
Lakoff and Johnson (1980) challenged the traditional view of metaphor as a literary array by proposing a contemporary theory of metaphor. They found, based on linguistic evidence, that the conceptual system by which humans think and act is metaphorical in nature. In this theory, metaphor is one of the main mechanisms of the thinking process that plays a crucial and fundamental role in understanding abstract concepts and reasoning.
According to this theory, metaphors are present in all types of language; in the language of literature, science, politics, religion, art, and any linguistic aspect that is the product of the human mind. Everything that exists about metaphor and its principles can also be explained in the corpus of literary language, and in this respect, there is no difference in analysis, except that in literary metaphors, the principle of metaphorical creativity is more noticeable.
Lakoff and Turner (1989) in their book “More than Cool Reason: A Field Guide to Poetic Metaphor” examined and identified various types of poetic metaphors and claimed that poets and writers use the same ordinary conceptual metaphors of ordinary people in literary creation; with the difference that they complicate them, expand them, challenge their inappropriateness, or combine them in a way beyond the usual way.
In the field of recognizing the influential indicators in the creation of new metaphors and explaining the interrogative power of literary metaphor, no research has been done so far in Arabic short stories. This research intends to examine Zakaria Tamer’s creativity in creating metaphors or highlighting some colloquial metaphors in the short stories of two collections; “Suhail al-Jawad al-Abyad” and “Damascus al-Haraiq”.
Zakaria Tamer is a contemporary and famous Syrian storyteller who has brought this field of Arabic literature to a distinguished position with his short stories. In his works, he has addressed social and human concerns such as poverty and class conflict, oppression and tyranny in Syrian society, and has depicted the pain and suffering of the people of his land and their emotions and feelings. The literary status of Zakaria Tamer necessitates that his writing style be examined from a cognitive-linguistic point of view, especially metaphorical creativity in conceptualizing the themes of his stories.
Narrative literature tells the story of characters and situations that are related to human experiences, thoughts, and observations, and makes the reader think about the content of the story and the ideology of the writer. Therefore, the creative use of metaphor, in addition to adding to the delicacy and beauty of the text, highlights the themes of the stories and can practically provide the reader with a deeper understanding and experience of their message.
Research Questions
This research answers the following questions:
1-What has caused the difference in conceptualization in Tamer’s stories compared to ordinary language?
2-How is the frequency of the fourfold tools of metaphorical creativity in Tamer’s stories?
3-What impact has the creative use of metaphor, imagery, and anthropomorphism had on this author’s stories?

2. Literature Review
So far, no research has been conducted on metaphorical creativity in Arabic short stories. Among the related studies on Lakoff and Turner’s (1989) theory of poetic metaphor, we can briefly mention the following: Kovecses (2010) dedicated the fourth chapter of his book “A Practical Introduction to Metaphor” to the topic of metaphor in literature, explaining the tools of metaphorical creativity introduced by Lakoff and Turner (1989), along with examples in poetry and prose. In another work titled “Metaphor and Poetic Creativity” (Kovecses, 2009), he refers to the influence of cultural, material, and belief contexts that inspire poets to create poetry and poetic metaphors. Flores (1998), in his article “Time, Life, and Death in Shakespeare’s Sonnets,” aimed to examine the use of techniques for creating poetic metaphors proposed by Lakoff and Turner (1989). He studied the conceptualization of time, death, and life in Shakespeare’s poems and, after examining several general-level metaphors, mentioned specific-level metaphors such as “Time is a conqueror,” “Time is an oppressor,” “Death is a ruler,” and “Life is a war with time or death” in Shakespeare’s sonnets. While emphasizing the practicality of Lakoff and Turner’s model, Flores considered the techniques of expansion, complication, and combination in creating new mappings in Shakespeare’s poetry. He stated that the poet did not use the questioning technique, as this feature is more often seen in surrealist poems. M. Freeman (1995), in his article “Conceptualizing Metaphor: The Conceptual World of Dickinson,” examined Dickinson’s poems from a cognitive poetics perspective. He stated that this poet, using the questioning tool in the overall structure of her poetry, questioned the validity of the metaphor “Life is a journey,” which is a metaphor of religious and educational literature. Considering the scientific advancements of her time, she replaced it with the metaphor “Life is a journey in space.” From the research conducted in Persian, we can refer to the article by Pourabrahim and Ghayathian titled “Investigating the Poetic Creativities of Hafez in Conceptualizing Love.” The authors concluded that the difference between Hafez’s language and ordinary language in conceptualizing love is the result of the creative use of cognitive mechanisms in the work, using four indices of metaphorical creativity. Among these, combination and complication had the highest usage, and the questioning index had the least usage in highlighting the concept of love.
  1. Methodology
This study employs a library research method and uses a descriptive-analytical approach. It’s grounded in the emergent theory of cognitive poetics and leans on Lakoff’s conceptual metaphor theory, along with the literary strategies outlined in Lakoff and Turner’s 1989 book. From Tamer’s extensive works, the two collections “Suhail al-Jawad al-Abyad” and “Damascus al-Haraiq” were chosen for the research corpus. For the analysis, sections of the stories that exhibit metaphorical innovation were selected. Given that the article is in Persian, an effort was made to initially provide a smooth translation of the chosen text. Subsequently, the discussion delves into the analysis of conceptualization techniques in that section, based on the theoretical framework.
  1. Results
In response to the questions posed in the article, it must be acknowledged: what distinguishes Tamer’s language from ordinary language is the creative use of metaphorical conceptualization, which results from the application of four tools: expansion, complication, questioning, and combination. The use of these tools creates complex meanings and introduces a unique innovation in conceptualization, something that does not occur in everyday conventional metaphors. Among the four indices mentioned, Tamer has made more use of the combination technique and less of the questioning technique. He has moderately benefited from the expansion and complication techniques. In addition, the author has simultaneously used the techniques of expansion, complication, and combination in most cases. He first expands a part of our knowledge about the source domain - which has not participated in previous metaphorical mappings - and then unusually describes this part using the complication tool. The simultaneous use of the expansion and complication techniques gives a new meaning to conventional surface-level metaphors and leads to the creation of new or specific-level metaphors. Along with these two techniques, in the combination process, by mixing conventional conceptual metaphors, our inferential power from the concepts of the text is placed beyond our inferential power from each of those metaphors. The creative and immersive use of metaphor, imagery, and characterization in this author’s stories brings the reader to the peak of artistic pleasure during a dreamy encounter with the text. In addition to creating delicacy and beauty in the text, it highlights the central themes in his stories and provides the reader with a deep understanding of their content and the author’s message. In summary, poets and writers are able to create a new and unique world in their works by changing and manipulating everyday conceptual metaphors, and explaining this creativity is possible with the logic of Lakoff and Turner’s (1989) techniques.
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Article Type: مقالات علمی پژوهشی | Subject: Linguistics
Published: 2024/12/30

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