Dominant Metaphors in Maltese Literature

Download: Adrian Grima, “Dominant Metaphor in Maltese Literature” (2003)

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Adrian Grima’s doctoral thesis in Maltese literature deals with the way Malta has been represented in poetry and narrative written in Maltese. Metaphor, with its ability to stretch language and thought beyond its elastic limit, has played a fundamental role in the forging of the national imaginary that lies at the junction between real history and literary texts. On one hand, the conventional conceptual metaphors of the mother, home, traveller, and village are rooted in conventional conceptions of the nation; on the other, the relocation of the motherland in the sea marks a return to and a reinterpretation of the figure of the mother. While conventional conceptual metaphors have the potential to structure the concept of the nation by imagining the unimagined, fresh conceptual metaphors simultaneously create and defy that new structure.


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