Sprache – Gedächtnis – Architektur. Metonymische Präsenz und metaphorische Bedeutung im Roman Austerlitz von W.G. Sebald (2001)

Katarzyna Lukas


Language – memory – architecture. Metonymic presence and metaphorical meaning in the novel Austerlitz by W.G. Sebald (2001)

By the example of the novel Austerlitz by W.G. Sebald, the present paper shows how architecture can inspire literature, being not only a subject of but also a structural model for literary texts. In Sebald’s literary depictions, topography, interiors, buildings and their plans play the role of memory metaphors – following the tradition to conceive of human memory as a spatial concept. The same buildings and architectural structures, presented on photographs combined with the verbal text, become metonymies which re-present the past and the repressed trauma. A number of space metaphors used in Austerlitz are examined: concepts expressing the notion of the hermetic, of dislocation, estrangement, death of cultural memory, of the protagonist’s defence mechanism against trauma. Then, Sebald‘s depiction of language as a maze is considered in the context of the relationship between aphasia as language disorder and metonymy as a poetic means – an analogy going back to R.Jakobson. Finally, Sebald’s „metonymic interaction“ between language and pictures is examined, allowing the conclusion that metaphors of memory in Austerlitz have a rather traditional character, while the metonymies are innovative and have a great impact on the reader/spectator.

Słowa kluczowe: spatidefinite article, generic use, cognitive linguistic, frame concept, uniqueness

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