By Michael Ferber

This is often the 1st dictionary of symbols to be in response to literature, instead of 'universal' mental archetypes or myths. It explains and illustrates the literary symbols that all of us often stumble upon (such as swan, rose, moon, gold), and offers countless numbers of cross-references and quotations. The dictionary concentrates on English literature, yet its entries diversity largely from the Bible and classical authors to the 20th century, taking in American and ecu literatures. For this new version, Michael Ferber has integrated over twenty thoroughly new entries (including endure, holly, sunflower and tower), and has additional to a few of the latest entries. Enlarged and enriched from the 1st variation, its trained type and wealthy references make this e-book an important instrument not just for literary and classical students, yet for all scholars of literature.

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Additional resources for A Dictionary of Literary Symbols (2nd Edition)

Example text

Art is a veritable transmutation of substance. By it, substance is spiritualized and physical surroundings dematerialized in order to refract essence, that is, the quality of an original world. ” As the quality of a world, essence is never to be confused with an object but on the contrary brings together two quite different objects, concerning which we in fact perceive that they have this quality in the revealing medium. At the same time that essence is incarnated in a substance, the ultimate quality constituting it is therefore expressed as the quality common to two different objects, kneaded in this luminous substance, plunged into this refracting medium.

But above all, once we have received from art the final revelation, how will this revelation react on the other realms and become the center of a system that leaves nothing outside itself? Essence is always an artistic essence.

What is important is that the hero does not know certain things at the start, gradually learns them, and finally receives an ultimate revelation. Necessarily then, he suffers disappointments: he “believed,” he suffered under illusions; the world vacillates in the course of apprenticeship. And still we give a linear character to the development of the Search. As a matter of fact, a certain partial revelation appears in a certain realm of signs, but it is sometimes accompanied by regressions in other realms, it is drowned in a more general disappointment or even reappears elsewhere, always fragile, as long as the revelation of art has not systematized the whole.

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