Publication details [#13920]

Sonesson, Göran. 1989. Pictorial concepts: Inquiries into the semiotic heritage and its relevance for the analysis of the visual world. Lund: Lund University Press.


The monograph presents the author’s original contribution to the domain of visual semiotics. Assuming that many of the errors and terminological misunderstandings of the greatest exponents of semiotics may turn out to be also a source of illumination and thus may contribute to the progress of the discipline, the monograph as a whole is deeply anchored in a critical, but constructive, examination of a large body of theories from various fields (from semiotics, linguistics, psychology to philosophy), whose common characteristic is their preoccupation with meaning. Phenomenology is given special attention in this survey, partly because it is concerned with meaning, partly because it addresses notions such as the Lifeworld. The visual meaning is approached from three points of view: (1) indexicality –the connection to the larger sociocultural Lifeworld; (2) plastic and connotational language – the layers that organize the surplus of meaning produced by a picture; (3) iconicity – the relation to the world of perceptual experience. It is in this context that the author presents the rudiments of his theory of metaphor, which he has been developing in more recent papers.