The King is a Tree

10 03 2014

Recent additions to my bookshelf (you may notice a trend) include the following texts, arranged in alphabetical order:

David H. Aaron, Biblical Ambiguities: Metaphor, Semantics, and Divine Imagery (2002)

Antonio Barcelona (ed.), Metaphor and Metonymy at the Crossroads (2003)

Monroe C. Beardsley, Aesthetics: Problems in the Philosophy of Criticism (2nd ed, 1981)

Max Black, Models and Metaphors (1962)

Marc Zvi Brettler, God is King: Understanding an Israelite Metaphor (1989)

Claudia Camp and Carole Fontaine (eds.), Women, War and Metaphor: Language and Society in the Study of the Hebrew Bible (Semeia 61; 1993)

Mordechai Z. Cohen, Three Approaches to Biblical Metaphor: From Abraham Ibn Ezra and Maimonides to David Kimhi (2008)

William Empson, Seven Types of Ambiguity (1966)

William Empson, The Structure of Complex Words (1967)

Kurt Feyaerts (ed.), The Bible Through Metaphor and Translation: A Cognitive Semantic Perspective (2003)

Robert J. Fogelin, Figuratively Speaking (2nd ed, 2011)

Terence Hawkes, Metaphor (1972)

Terence Hawkes, Structuralism and Semiotics (1977)

Mark Johnson (ed.), Philosophical Perspectives on Metaphor (1981)

Eva Feder Kittay, Metaphor: Its Cognitive Force and Linguistic Structure (1987)

Gail Labovitz, Marriage and Metaphor: Constructions of Gender in Rabbinic Literature (2009)

George Lakoff and Mark Johnson, Metaphors We Live By (1980)

George Lakoff and Mark Turner, More than Cool Reason: A Field Guide to Poetic Metaphor (1989)

John Locke, An Essay Concerning Human Understanding (1689; ed. P.H. Nidditch, 1975)

John Lyons, Introduction to Theoretical Linguistics (1968)

Earl R. Mac Cormac, A Cognitive Theory of Metaphor (1989)

J.J.A. Mooij, A Study of Metaphor (1976)

Kirsten Nielsen, There is Hope for a Tree: The Tree as Metaphor in Isaiah (1989)

Andrew Ortony (ed.), Metaphor and Thought (2nd ed, 1993)

I.A. Richards, The Art of Rhetoric (1936)

Paul Ricoeur, The Rule of Metaphor: Multidisciplinary Studies of the Creation of Meaning in Language (trans. Robert Czerny, 1977)

Sheldon Sacks (ed.), On Metaphor (1979)

Israel Scheffler, Beyond the Letter: A Philosophical Inquiry into Ambiguity, Vagueness and Metaphor in Language (1979)

Janet Martin Soskice, Metaphor and Religious Language (1985)

Danny D. Steinberg and Leon A. Jakobovits (eds.), Semantics: An Interdisciplinary Reader in Philosophy, Linguistics and Psychology (1971)

Gustaf Stern, Meaning and Change of Meaning: With Special Reference to the English Language (1931)

Together with Sternberg’s The Poetics of Biblical Narrative, Berlin’s Poetics and Interpretation of Biblical Narrative, Schmitz’s Modern Literary Theory and Ancient Texts and Eco’s Semiotics and the Philosophy of Language, I have had no choice but to create a new subsection of my Literary Theory shelf and place it on my desk, its content being so relevant to my continuing absence from this blog.

Books that do not quite fit this trend, but have been nonetheless added to my shelves in recent times, include:

David Barnouw and Gerrold van der Stroom (eds.), The Diary of Anne Frank: The Revised Critical Edition (trans. Arnold J. Pomerans, B.M. Mooyaart-Doubleday and Susan Massotty; 2003)

T.S. Eliot, The Waste Land (Norton Critical Editions; ed. Michael North, 2000)

William Empson, The Complete Poems of William Empson (ed. John Haffenden; 2001)

The acquisition of an annotated critical edition of Eliot’s The Waste Land and The Complete Poems of William Empson have forced me to move my poetry section from the living room into the bedroom, where there is currently more space. Sixty-two books now dominate my vision in the brief time before I lose consciousness; their authors (mostly deranged, occasionally just high), narrate the contents of my dreams.




4 responses

10 03 2014

Does the image of king as tree, or as world-tree, appear outside the Hebrew Bible? It is stunning in Daniel 4, are there parallels?

10 03 2014

Actually, is the world-tree an ancient near eastern idea? I heard it from Germanic etc. imagery. Maybe I’m mixing up trees in a way they didn’t… But anyway, there image of life source seems to fit, and it clicks in with the idea of wisdom.

10 03 2014
Simon Holloway

There are many examples in the Hebrew Bible; outside of it, there are a few in Herodotus that I am aware of. Geo Widengren wrote a book called The King and the Tree of Life in Ancient Near Eastern Religion, which likely deals with your second question.

10 03 2014

Interesting, thanks.

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