Article published in:Semblance and Signification
Edited by Pascal Michelucci, Olga Fischer and Christina Ljungberg
[Iconicity in Language and Literature 10] 2011
► pp. 269–288
Iconicity in conceptual blending
Material anchors in William Morris’s News from Nowhere
In 1890, William Morris, pioneering writer, designer, and revolutionary socialist, published News from Nowhere. In this utopian romance, he expresses his aesthetic and social convictions most convincingly not through propositional argumentation, but instead through iconic conceptual/material anchors set up to support conceptual blending networks through which the reader is guided to conjure up human-scale scenes and contexts. These conceptual integration networks achieve compression (and decompression) of vital relations (such as identity, change, or time) in blended mental spaces, heightening the aesthetic, emotional, and hence persuasive potential of the text, often at key points in its structure. This paper explores several passages from News from Nowhere, arguing that motivated non-metaphorical conceptual/material anchors can be just as iconic as metaphorical ones.
Published online: 23 November 2011