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Wright, K. (1996). The Metaphoric Process—Connections between Language and Life. : By Gemma Corradi Fiumara. London and New York. Routledge. 1995. Pp. 196.. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 77:413-415.

(1996). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 77:413-415

The Metaphoric Process—Connections between Language and Life. : By Gemma Corradi Fiumara. London and New York. Routledge. 1995. Pp. 196.

Review by:
Kenneth Wright

This book deserves to be read by all who are interested in the wider interrelations of language and experience. The author is a philosopher and psychoanalyst and this unusual combination of disciplines leads to new and exciting perspectives, not only on language, but on western philosophy and epistemology as well. One of the author's explicit concerns is to make bridges between disparate realms of human knowledge; an aim that is beautifully realised in her well researched and clearly presented exposition.

Her specific focus is language, especially metaphoric language. From this point of view the book offers a guided tour of recent philosophical writing in this field which serves to bring into relief an emerging and more humanistic approach. She develops this in fresh and exciting ways.

Western philosophy, we are told, is based on a foundation of Cartesian dualism, and this split is nowhere more developed than in mainstream academic writings on language. Although a product of human evolution, language as academically discoursed upon has come to be regarded as quite separate from the sentient life of human beings. According to this view, it forms a quasi independent set of representations, or symbols, which correspond to, or mirror, the real world. From this perspective, it could be said that the user of language is not really engaged in living his life. Instead, he looks out on the world from a detached, objective vantage point and from such an empyrean position, he translates what he sees into the appropriate linguistic code.

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