Just wait till we're alone together. Then I will tell you something new, something cold, something sleepy, something of cease and peace and the long bright curve of space. Go upstairs to your room. I will be waiting for you...
As a rare October blizzard drifts a blanket of white across the Northeast just before Halloween, what better time to settle in and read (or watch) Conrad Aiken's
most famous short story, "Silent Snow, Secret Snow."
About a small boy who increasingly slips into an ominous fantasy of isolation and endless snow, it could be viewed as a metaphor about autism, Asperger's syndrome, and even schizophrenia before such conditions even had names. In addition to the 1934 short story, the tale has also been adapted as a creepy
1966 black-and-white short film
(also at the Internet Archive
) and as a Night Gallery
) narrated by Orson Welles. Or for a more academic take, see the essay "The Delicious Progress"
examining Aiken's use of white as a symbol of psychological regression.
posted by Rhaomi
on Oct 29, 2011 -
"Writing about metaphor is dancing with your conceptual clothes off, the innards of your language exposed by equipment more powerful than anything operated by the TSA. Still, one would be a rabbit not to do it in a world where metaphor is now top dog, at least among revived rhetorical devices with philosophical appeal." [What's a Metaphor For?
posted by vidur
on Jul 12, 2011 -
Daniel Soar on the militarisation of metaphor
: Spies aren’t known for their cultural sensitivity. So it was a surprise when news broke last month that IARPA, a US government agency that funds ‘high-risk/high-payoff research’ into areas of interest to the ‘intelligence community’, had put out a call for contributions to its Metaphor Program, a five-year project to discover what a foreign culture’s metaphors can reveal about its beliefs.
posted by jack_mo
on Jun 27, 2011 -
Sparks of Life.
"That the electric 'spark of life' figured prominently in debates over the nature of life in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries is well known. Less well known is the fact that prior to this period, gunpowder was often identified with the substances that were necessary to life, if not as a vitalistic spirit, then as an essential element in the animation of the body. The idea of a spark of life went back to ancient times, likening living beings to the glowing embers of a fire. In the Old Testament, for example, the wise woman of Tekoah begs for the life of her son, pleading 'they will stamp out my last live ember.' But from the sixteenth to the eighteenth century, this vital flame was often equated with gunpowder. There was fire in the blood: not electric, but pyrotechnic fire."
posted by homunculus
on Feb 20, 2009 -
Pax Corleone Americana?
"Can any of the candidates vying to become the next president of the United States match Michael’s cool, dispassionate courage in the face of epochal change? Will they avoid living in the comforting embrace of the past, from which both Tom and Sonny ultimately could not escape? Or will they emulate Michael’s flexibility—to preserve America’s position in a dangerous world?" The Godfather
posted by amyms
on Apr 28, 2008 -
"As he has before, Bush told the story about how his first presidential decision was to pick a rug for the Oval Office..."
In a speech before Ohio High Schoolers and business leaders in a
Republican district outside of Dayton,
President made some interesting commentary
on marriage, chicken-plucking,
polling, his own legacy, comparisons between Iraq and Vietnam, and of course,
loves the rug
like Ronald Reagan loved Jelly Beans,
, even on the whitehouse.gov's
. Shortly after a President takes office, they
their own imprint on the character of the Oval Office by redecorating
task usually taken by the First Lady. The rug, designed by Laura Bush is
as the President stated
wanted the room to convey a sense of optimism
, "because you can't make
decisions unless you're optimistic that the decisions you make will lead to a
better tomorrow." Hopefully the rug doesn't become a bookended anecdote to
posted by rzklkng
on Apr 24, 2007 -
War as metaphor, again.
The linguist George Lakoff
writes a sequel to his seminal piece
on the first Gulf war.
The Nation as Person
, The Just War
, War as Business (and Politics)
, War as Fairy Tale
: will these ways of thinking ever be re-framed in the interests of peace and common humanity? Not if any dissent from the accepted line continues to be silenced
. Source: Too Much News
posted by cbrody
on Apr 4, 2003 -