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The Development of Roman Jakobson’s semiotic interpretation of poetic form and function with special reference to his axial model of the poles of language: metaphor and metonymy; and the application of this developed model to the construction of city poetics with reference to Vladimir Mayakovsky’s poetry.

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The Development of Roman Jakobson’s semiotic interpretation of poetic form and function with special reference to his axial model of the poles of language: metaphor and metonymy; and the application of this developed model to the construction of city poetics with reference to Vladimir Mayakovsky’s poetry.


Roman Jakobson’s theory of ‘poetic function’ from his essay ‘Linguistics and Poetics’ (1960) in Language in Literature (1987, p71) is often summarised as follows: ‘The poetic function projects the principle of equivalence from the axis of selection into the axis of combination’. The development of Jakobson’s theory of the ‘Poles of Language’ is traced with reference to the Russian Formalists and Ferdinand de Saussure. The semiotic nature of this Formalist structure is explored and its contribution to the development of the axial model of the metonymic and metaphoric poles of language defined diagrammatically. The diagram is an important development of Jakobson’s own theory of the poles of language and is a unique contribution by this researcher. This research was made possible through the assistance of the Visiting Research Fellowship at the Institute of English Studies, School of Advanced Studies, University of London. Two essays by Jakobson about the working processes of Mayakovsky, have been translated for the first time into English for the purposes of this research, with thanks to Dr Elena Nistor, University of Agronomic Sciences and Veterinary Medicine of Bucharest and Visiting Research Fellow, Institute of English Studies, for arranging the translation in conjunction with Elena Richard and Paul Jude Richard. It is hoped that these translations will be published in full as an Addendum to this presentation paper. Both essays were published in Russian in: JAKOBSON, R (1979) Selected Writings, Vol V On Verse, its Masters and Explorers The Hague, Mouton ABOUT MAYAKOVSKY’S LATER LYRICAL POEMS К ПОЗДНЕЙ ЛИРИКЕ МАЯКОВСКОГО (pp382-405) and DOSTOYEVSKY ECHOED IN MAYAKOVSKY’S WORK ДОСТОЕВСКИЙ В ОТГОЛОСКАХ МАЯКОВСКОГО (pp406-412) These essays reveal a less Formalist aspect of Jakobson’s analysis of poetics. It is a unique feature of these essays that they reveal a more personal response to the poet rather than a Formalist analysis of the poetry of Mayakovsky in itself. A poem by Vladimir Mayakovsky ‘The City’, a poem about Paris in 1925, is used as an illustration of the theory of the poetic use of metaphor and metonymy within the same poem. Two translations of this poem are referred to. The impact that the different translations of the poem have on the meaning of it, highlights the use of tropes in this poem. In conclusion, the point is made that metonymy has a significant part to play in the development of a city poetic.

Coghill, Mary The Development of Roman Jakobson’s semiotic interpretation of poetic form and function with special reference to his axial model of the poles of language: metaphor and metonymy; and the application of this developed model to the construction of city poetics with reference to Vladimir Mayakovsky’s poetry. In: Form and Poetry: an exploration of Russian Formalism - ostranenie, city poetics, poles of poetic art - metaphor, metonymy, 23 Oct 2015, London, United Kingdom. (Unpublished)


Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: Culture, Language & Literature
English
Keywords: Roman Jakobson, Vladimir Mayakvosky, Ferdinand de Saussure, semiotics, Axis and poles of language, metaphor, metonymy, city poetics
Divisions: Institute of English Studies
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URI: http://sas-space.sas.ac.uk/id/eprint/6174
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