Autumn 1953 • Vol. XV No. 4 Book ReviewsOctober 1, 1953 |

The Dialectics of Imagery

Symbolism And American Literature by Charles Feidelson, Jr. University of Chicago Press. $6.50. Since symbolism means many things to many people, perhaps in seeking to place Mr. Feidelson's interesting book on Symbolism and American Literature we might properly begin by a general survey of the term's main meanings. In one sense, all linguistic or artistic expression is symbolic. Whereas a stone is a thing in nature, the word for stone is symbolic. In this sense, not just poetry, but rhetoric, dialectic, and even any scientific or "factual" statement would be symbolic. The same would be true not just of modern "symbolic logic" (or "logistics") but of all logic. "Symbol" is sometimes best defined by contrast with "sign," with sign generally referring to the more "intellectualistic" kind of meanings, "symbol" to the more emotional kind. Or "sign" is on the sharply particularizing, or denotative side, while "symbol" is applied to terms with multiple connotations, or blurred

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Symbolism And American Literature by Charles Feidelson, Jr. University of Chicago Press. $6.50. Since symbolism means many things to many people, perhaps in seeking to place Mr. Feidelson's interesting book […]

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Symbolism And American Literature by Charles Feidelson, Jr. University of Chicago Press. $6.50. Since symbolism means many things to many people, perhaps in seeking to place Mr. Feidelson's interesting book […]

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