We all know that it was Ferdinand Saussure, the French Structuralist who labeled and named the SIGN. He divided the SIGN into the signifier and the signified. A signifier stands for a physical object and belongs to the realm of the sensible. A signified stands for an idea and belongs to the intelligible realm. For e.g. if I say Rose is Passion, Rose becomes the signifier and passion becomes the signified. But what about Verbs used in a language? Verbs are neither signifiers nor signifieds. Verbs in language connote Action, State, Being, Possession. For example: he is running is a verb that shows action. l am resting is verb pointing out to a state. I am rich is a verb that shows being. I own the Guernica is a verb that marks possession. I would like to name the process of the work done by Verbs in Semiotics as TRANSCENDENTS. TRANSCENDENTS work functionally by unifying or copulating the Signifier with the Signified. In the Philosophy of Semiotics, Transcendents form meaning as trans-philosophical entities. The meaning of the SIGN would be incomplete without the work of TRANSCENDENTS.
Condensation, Displacement, Jacques Lacan, Literary Theory, literature, Metaphor, Metonymy, Paradigmatic, philosophy, Post structuralism, Psychoanalysis, Roland Barthes, Semiotics, Structuralism, Syntagmatic
We all are familiar about metaphor where a word is represented by another for ornament sake. For e.g. The desert needs an oasis of women. Desert refers to the body and it forms the tenor of the metaphor which means the represented and oasis refers to vehicle, the word which acts as a carrier for the body.
Metonymy also called as an extended metaphor is the naming of one by another. For e.g. Shakespeare’s famous line: ‘All the World’s a stage’ is a metonymy. Here, life as representing the stage or theatre is manifested. Another example of a metonymy would be the crown for royalty and Empire for former British colonies.
Metaphors and metonymies have been conceptualized in grammar, semiotics and psychoanalysis. Metaphors and metonymies have been connoted into an axis. There are two axes, one the paradigmatic and the other the syntagmatic.
Let’s look at how metaphors and metonymies operate as conceptions in grammar. Metaphors operate at as the provision of phonemic content and metaphors in grammar form the paradigmatic axis. For e.g. the [c] in cat can be replaced [b] to make bat. One phoneme can alter the lexical content of the word. This placement of a single phoneme to make a word makes metaphor rest on the paradigmatic axis.
Metonymies on the other hand contain the semantic content of language and metonymies form the syntagmatic axis. It refers to the fact that semantic content can be manipulated by changing the order or form of words which may or may not result in the change of meaning. For e.g. Rome was copulating with a strumpet can be changed to Rome was having sexual intercourse with a whore. Here the semantic content is changed but it does not radically change the meaning of the sentence. Another example with altered semantics of meaning content would be: You can choose to love the serpent or the dove.
Metaphors and Metonymies in semiotics put on the garb of being significations of the signifier and the signified which again go on to make signs of language. A sign in semiotics would be made of two concepts: the signifier and the signified. For e.g. if we say that: Rose is Passion. Here the Rose is a physical tangibility and passion in an abstract sense is an idea. According to the theory of semiotics, the signifier is connoted to be the metaphor and it rests on the paradigmatic plane. Again semiotics emphasizes that the signified becomes the syntagmatic axis. Semiotics studies language as a signification involving the play of signs. Many semioticians like Prof. Roland Barthes have dissected signs that are constructed in culture, advertisements and the fashion industry.
I would like to show the working of metaphors and metonymies in psychoanalysis, especially dreams. Much of the work on metaphors and metonymies can be credited to Jacque Lacan. Lacan became famous by his prediction that ‘the unconscious mind is structured like language’. A dream may manifest as two components and those components in Freudian language are condensation and displacement. A condensed dream is a metaphor forming the paradigmatic axis and a displaced dream is a metonymy forming the syntagmatic axis.
A condensed dream would symbolization of dream symbols from an actual life situation into an imaginary realm. An example of a condensed dream would be: I see a resurrection of my dead father from the grave and chasing and snatching from me all my liquor bottles. In real life my father was very liberal. The father image was a substituted representation of my matriarch and wife who frequently threaten me that they will send me to the asylum if I drink. A condensed dream can be connoted as lying on the paradigmatic axis and becomes metaphoric.
In psychoanalysis, a paradigmatic metaphor depicts substitution and syntagmatic metonymy portrays contiguity (adjacent or neighboring).
In a dream of displacement the image of the dream makes the dreamer escape from his or her real life or the dream manifests as being replaced with images that are socially acceptable where as the unconscious of the dreamer is pregnant with violations of the social norm. For e.g. in my dream I see a nagging wife but I conveniently hide from the reality that I am unemployed, and I bum around boozing and smoking and doing no work. Displacement in dream conceptuality lies on the syntagmatic axis and in psychoanalysis becomes a metonymy.
All seeing EYE, American Dollar, Camera Lucida, Cash, Christian, Conspiracy, Egyptian, Jewish, Money, Myth, Punctum, Roland Barthes, Secret Socities, Semiotics, Signification, Structuralism, Studium, The Unfinished Pyramid
I was reading an Article on Prof. Roland Barthes: Camera Lucida. In it the article dissects the art of writing about Photography as the Studium and the Punctum. The Studium is denotations about the image and it can be historical, normative and cultural. The Punctum is creative, significatory and it transcends and translates meaning to an aesthetic of an experience.
I am intrigued by the various stories of myths circulating in haloes about the All seeing Eye and the Unfinished Pyramid on the American Dollar. Legends about this magical glyph are shrouded on Masonic, Illuminati and Templar Legends. The All Seeing Eye and the Unfinished Pyramid in its denotative aspect carry historically the Jewish, Egyptian motifs, for e.g. The All Seeing Eye of Horus, the All seeing Eye of God in the Psalms and the mysteries surrounding the Pyramid.
It’s fascinating to probe how the completed Pyramid used as funeral obeisance for the Aristocratic Egyptian society could be transformed into a microscopic entity—a symbol on a piece of paper and that too an incomplete undone state. The signified for the Unfinished Pyramid can be the human bust and the human groin, anatomically but at a symbolic level, it can represent need, greed, covetousness, lust, and to put in a new vein of thought, the Unfinished Pyramid is in a significatory mode of always being in Gratification. The All seeing Eye is more peculiar a symptom. A myth of signification of God has become a trans-hieroglyphic symbol of lust, possession, appropriation and profit.
The World sad to say is being slowly Dollarized even though the currency is printed in a stagflatory mode of being in America as a burgeoning deficit. The Federal Reserve is in perpetual deficit and prints only worthless paper. All that Worthless Paper has to be defied!
Many poor countries used only a measly sum of their currencies and for higher denominations use the dollar. Arms and the Oil market pump oil and also pump the dollar. Many countries have accumulated piles and piles of the dollar with a mythical notion that it is guaranteed reserve.
The paperization of Egyptian, Christian and Pagan motifs and its minutization to a symbol is again the spinning of Monetary and Economic yarn by USA, and hierarchization of signifying other World Economies into servitude and dependence. No doubt the US even after recession is surviving on pseudo myths of conspiracy and economic sabotage.
I too, in my longing for monetary comforts have miserably become a devotee of the symbolic in the All Seeing Eye and the Unfinished Pyramid. But sad to say I have been alienated. There ends the Punctum.
The idea for tangibilities and idealities sprung forth from my reading of Semiotics of Saussure and Deconstruction of Derrida.
Derrida has salmagundized the phonic and the graphic, or the sound and the pictorial letter of language with Semiotics of Signs.
The phonic and pictorial content of the language belongs to the Primary Order. It has been created with a view to represent language with meaning.
The Secondary order of language belongs to the realm of Signs, and Signs in turn are made up of the Signifier and the Signified. It was the Semiotician Saussure who has ignited this idea of language as making of Signs which in turn are made up of the Signifier and the Signified.
Here I would like to dichotomize the Saussureian creation of the Sign in two aspects. They are Tangibilities and Idealities. Saussure has already dealt with the idea of Tangibilities. An example of the Sign as tangibilities would be Rose is Passion which is made up of the Signifier, Rose ( the physical content) and the Signified, passion ( the idea or quality).
How ever Saussure has not mentioned of the Sign which can be coined from two Signifieds ( that is a combination of two ideas). An example of the Signifieds making a Sign is Sexual Passion. Here the adjective Sexual connotes passion. Another example would be Dark Vices and another example would be Ideal Happiness. Here the Sign in the Philosophy of Language and Semiotics is made up two Signifieds. This phenomena I would like define as Idealities.