Publication details [#4771]

Freeman, Margaret H. 2006. Blending: A response. Language and Literature 15 (1) : 107–117. 11 pp.


This response to the five articles in this special issue on blending focuses on how the power of blending as a basic human cognitive ability not surprisingly extends into all aspects of human creativity, illuminating such literary forms as narrative perspective, character and identity formation, and poetic styles, as well as reader reception and response or cultural development and transmission. In their extension of earlier studies of blending in poetry to drama, film, and prose narratives, these five articles reveal the possibilities of a broader scope for blending theory in literature. However, if blending theory is to succeed in modeling the human mind, it must also account for intentionality and feeling. In the second section of this article, therefore, I explore Susanne K. Langer's idea that literature creates the semblance of felt life, an idea that raises the possibility that form-meaning blending includes the iconic notion of form as feeling. Using Per Aage Brandt's cognitive-semiotic elaboration of Fauconnier and Turner's blending model and Masako Hiraga's model for metaphor-icon links in language, I suggest the possibility of constructing an aesthetic theory of literature that would reveal the central and crucial role that literature (and all the arts) play in human consciousness and feeling. (Margaret Freeman)