Mirrors in Texts – Texts in Mirrors
Author: Joyce O. Lowrie
Publication Date: 01 Jan 2008
Mirrors are mesmerizing. The rhetorical figure that represents a mirror is called a chiasmus, a pattern derived from the Greek letter X (Chi). This pattern applies to sentences such as “one does not live to eat; one eats to live.” It is found in myths, plays, poems, biblical songs, short stories, novels, epics. Numerous studies have dealt with repetition, difference, and Narcissism in the fields of literature, music, and art. But mirror structures, per se, have not received systematic notice. This book analyses mirror imagery, scenes, and characters in French prose texts, in chronological order, from the 17th to the 20th centuries. It does so in light of literal, metaphoric, and rhetorical structures. Works analysed in the traditional French canon, written by such writers as Laclos, Lafayette, and Balzac, are extended by studies of texts composed by Barbey d’Aurevilly, Georges Rodenbach, Jean Lorrain, and Pieyre de Mandiargues. This work appeals to readers interested in linguistics, French history, psychology, art, and material culture. It invites analyses of historical and ideological contexts, rhetorical strategies, symmetry and asymmetry. Ovid’s Narcissus and Alice in Wonderland are paradigms for the study of micro and macro-structures. Analyses of mirrors as cultural artefacts are significant to Lowrie’s sight seeing.
Copyright Year: 2008