Contagious Metaphor (Paperback)Peta Mitchell (author)
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Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Number of pages: 208
Weight: 304 g
Dimensions: 234 x 156 x 11 mm
Peta Mitchell's highly readable ContagiousMetaphor explores medical and popular beliefs and practices aboutcontagion-and the metaphors that shape them. Reaching back through thenineteenth century and then ranging widely through more recent decades, sheshows how ambivalence about figurative language and misunderstanding ofmetaphor itself has shaped our responses to epidemics both imaginedand experienced. From miasma to Dionysian frenzy to memes on theinternet, Mitchell challenges our assumptions about both language andcontagion, providing engaging and provocative analyses of examples from film,philosophy, linguistics and literature. -- Pamela K. Gilbert, Department of English, University of Florida, USA
'The history of medicine and metaphor come together inContagious Metaphor; Peta Mitchell perceptively chronicles the circulation ofthe metaphor of contagion and the contagion of metaphor in the current momentto show how ideas travel through language to shape lived experience. ContagiousMetaphor anatomizes the transmission of thought itself as it brings together astudy of the social phenomenon of a veritable obsession with the concept ofcontagion and a profound understanding of the role of language in creating notjust individual, but a broadly cultural consciousness. This study will enrichcontemporary understanding of the longstanding appeal of contagion as a conceptand of the power of metaphor as they circulate through, and register awidespread attempt to make sense of, the networks of contemporary social life.' -- Priscilla Wald, Department of English, Duke University, USA
Thisis a captivating book: interdisciplinary scholarship at its best. Moving deftlybetween meme theory and modern literature, nineteenth-century French socialscience and fifth-century theological debates, Peta Mitchell's genealogy ofcontagion metaphor reveals the intimacy, and indeed interdependency, of thesetwo concepts. The subtlety, sophistication and scholarly rigour of ContagiousMetaphor all but guarantee the spread of its ideas. -- Angela Woods, Centre for Medical Humanities, Durham University, UK
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