The aesthetics of the elements: imaginary morphologies in texts and paintings
This book introduces a semiotic and phenomenological understanding of the four elements: earth, air, fire, water, as they appear in description and depiction.
It develops a theory of the imaginary in human thought, and examines the occurrence of the elements, not in their role as trivial contents of the imaginary, but rather as aspects of its constitutive background - as material dimensions giving rise to direct and dynamic cognitive structure. The elements thus evoke universal evaluated sensations, and provide simple schematic conceptual primitives, in contrast with complex higher-order metaphoric structures which may rely on them. The elements are here understood as a mental palette in perception, as well as in aesthetic and philosophical expression.
The validity of this view is demonstrated by analysing literary works by Soren Kierkegaard, Thorkild Bjornvig, Simon Grotrian, and Arne Johnson, and paintings by J. M. W. Turner and Edward Hopper. The analysis is based on an empirical application of catastrophe theory to works of art, and it proposes new semiotic techniques for the interpretation of art and imagination in general.
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Elements and Morphologies IML
Phenomenology and Morphology
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A.J. Greimas aesthetic aesthetic material ambivalent analyses angel appears basic basis becomes bio-imaginary body Brandt catastrophe theory cognitive conceptual background concrete conflict connection constitute cusp Danish discontinual distant Dune Mirror dynamic dysphoria dysphoric Eight Paths element material euphoric everyday language example excited experience figure flesh framework fundamental gaze hermeneutic Hopper Ibid ideation imaginary semantics imaginary strata imagined intentionality invested J. M. W. Turner Johnsson Kierkegaard landscape Leonard Talmy light linguistic macrophysics meaning formation Meanwhile ments Merleau-Ponty metaphor Michel Serres morpho morphologies movement nature nook object oscillating Paal-Helge Haugen painting paradigm perception phantasmatic phantasmatic-imaginary phenomenology philosophical pictorial picture picture's plane poem poem's possible question realism relation schematic semiotics sense sequence Serres simple skin socio-imaginary reality socio-imaginary stratum space speak stratifications stylized G tactile Talmy text's thesis things thought thymic tion topology topos water bringer word classes