(1490 words)
  • David Punter (University of Bristol)

Literary/ Cultural Context Essay

  • The Literary Encyclopedia. Volume 12: Global Voices, Global Histories: World Literatures and Cultures.

We can begin to consider the study of metaphor by considering the nature of text, and of the word “text” itself. If we were to be asked for a definition of “text”, our first recourse might be to a dictionary, and here we would find what at first glance appears to be precisely the definition we need: “The wording of anything written or printed; the structure formed by the words in their order; the very words, phrases, and sentences as written” (OED).

This may seem as though it is a clear, “literal” meaning, and certainly it absolutely summarises some of the everyday uses of the word that we might make when contemplating the study of literature – although even here we may suspect that the dictionary …

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Punter, David. "Metaphor". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 19 January 2008
[, accessed 29 November 2015.]