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Thread: Searching for a literary term

  1. #1

    Searching for a literary term

    I once stumbled across a term that refers to a physical object that acts as a symbol. i.e. In Wilde's "Picture of Dorian Gray" the portrait is a physical representation of Dorian's soul. I am trying to remember the specific term that describes this device.

  2. #2
    Moderator Logos's Avatar
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    inanimate object = personification
    animal = anthropomorphism

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    rat in a strange garret Whifflingpin's Avatar
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    Analogue?
    Voices mysterious far and near,
    Sound of the wind and sound of the sea,
    Are calling and whispering in my ear,
    Whifflingpin! Why stayest thou here?

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    Registered User kiki1982's Avatar
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    manifestation?
    One has to laugh before being happy, because otherwise one risks to die before having laughed.

    "Je crains [...] que l'me ne se vide ces passe-temps vains, et que le fin du fin ne soit la fin des fins." (Edmond Rostand, Cyrano de Bergerac, Acte III, Scne VII)

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    I think you are looking for the term referent.

  6. #6
    Thanks for the advice guys. These aren't it though. It's a two-word phrase that specifically talks about when an object represents something in the story. i.e. the flower in Beauty & The Beast wilts.

    The literary phrase had it's own wiki page. It was something like "objective fiction metonymy" (but not metonymy, I'm just giving an example)

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    Symbol thingy?

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    Registered User Jackson Richardson's Avatar
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    I'm hopeless at crossword clues. I'll await the outcome here with interest. I'm sure there's something, but I can't for the life of me think what it is. I'll know it when I hear it.
    Previously JonathanB

    The more I read, the more I shall covet to read. Robert Burton The Anatomy of Melancholy Partion3, Section 1, Member 1, Subsection 1

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    Objective correlative?

    T.S. Eliot:
    “ The only way of expressing emotion in the form of art is by finding an "objective correlative"; in other words, a set of objects, a situation, a chain of events which shall be the formula of that particular emotion; such that when the external facts, which must terminate in sensory experience, are given, the emotion is immediately evoked."

    Example:

    A haiku by Yosa Buson entitled, The Piercing Chill I Feel, illustrates the use of objective correlative within poetry:

    The piercing chill I feel:
    my dead wife’s comb, in our bedroom,
    under my heel…

  10. #10
    Registered User Jackson Richardson's Avatar
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    I think that was the term at the back of my mind.
    Previously JonathanB

    The more I read, the more I shall covet to read. Robert Burton The Anatomy of Melancholy Partion3, Section 1, Member 1, Subsection 1

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