Publication details [#8941]

Popova, Yanna B. 2003. 'The fool sees with his nose': Metaphoric mappings in the sense of smell in Patrick Süskind's 'Perfume'. Language and Literature 12 (2) : 135–151. 17 pp.
Publication type
Article in journal
Publication language


Based on linguistic studies of perception verbs and on a general cognitive-linguistic premise of embodiment as a fundamental factor for explaining aspects of language behaviour, the article seeks to examine the representation of smell in the novel 'Perfume' by Patrick Süskind. It argues that there are cognitive and experiential motivations for the metaphoric mappings in the sense of smell in the novel. Our cognitive model of the external world, as far as it is based on perception, derives mainly from the sense of vision, a fact that provides motivated explanation for certain aspects of language structure. We see and know through our eyes, and a representation of the world through an alternative modality should resort to equally alternative ways of expression. A study and an explanation of these alternative ways are then offered. That an analysis of linguistic structure can be seen to contribute to an overall understanding of a complex work like 'Perfume' is taken to add validity to the theoretical claims on which the analysis is based. (Yanna B. Popova)