Wednesday, August 13, 2008

14.0 Archival Discovery

"Language is a product and tool of the social relationships into which [men] are forced to enter into in order to produce themselves."

--IAR, "Dialectic Materialism and Metaphor," unpublished MS, IAR archive.

In this piece, Richards does something fascinating: he argues that inherited Coleridgean theories of metaphor do not allow us to compare the historical processes by which a thing (it is unclear to me whether his "thing" is broad enough to account for "ideas") comes to be, when we compare the surface features of the thing. That notion of metaphor is inadequate, he argues, although he gets fuzzy on why.

He makes reference to the "workers' united front" learning Esperanto for purposes of communication and negotiation -- the only way that I can guess how to date this. There was a dalliance, generally, in Cambridge with Dialectic Materialism in the early 1930s, which is the other way to date this, but not proof solid.

What do you think?

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