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More than Cool Reason: A Field Guide to Poetic Metaphor 1st Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0226468129
ISBN-10: 0226468127
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  • More than Cool Reason: A Field Guide to Poetic Metaphor
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  • Metaphors We Live By
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

George Lakoff is Distinguished Professor of Cognitive Science and Linguistics at the University of California, Berkeley. He is the author or coauthor of numerous books.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 237 pages
  • Publisher: The University Of Chicago Press; 1 edition (1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0226468127
  • ISBN-13: 978-0226468129
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.3 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #180,090 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By E. Jones on February 23, 2001
Format: Paperback
This IS an important contribution to literary theory. The points that Lakoff and Turner make are very good, very logical, and will make you go "Of course! Why didn't I think of that?" It will not only change the way you read poetry, but will impact the way you watch t.v., listen to people speak, read the newspaper - any endeavor involving language. Why the low rating, then? Lakoff and Turner are structuralists, and they repeat everything over and over again, breaking things down to their minute building blocks. They made a very convincing argument in the first chapter, I thought, and didn't need to keep going the way they did. The third chapter, in which they apply their theory to a William Carlos Williams poem is also very good. Those two chapters would have sufficed. Again, an important book, but rather boring at times.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Reading "More Than Cool Reason" will be a breath of fresh air to anyone who has not yet encountered the "Lakoff-Johnson-Turner" bibliography on metaphor human thought. I found this more helpful than "Metaphors We Live By" (Lakoff & Johnson), since it deals with specific texts (e.g., "Because I could not stop for Death", "Sonnet 73" (Shakespeare), "By the Light of the Jasmine Moon"), which anchors their discussion, which might otherwise veer into the rather abstract.
Reading this book changed my thinking about metaphor, and has drastically affected--for the better--my teaching on metaphor in my courses on poetry. Students have also found it extremely helpful. There is some rather tiresome repetition, but much of the authors' reiteration of points is necessary to understanding what they are saying. The indices are very helpful, although I found it necessary to extend their topical index with my own "speed index".
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Format: Paperback
The important claim this book makes is that literary language does not differ from common everyday language. Poets make use of the same linguistic resources and cognitive mechanisms we all use in everyday situations. They just do it better, in innovative ways. The discussion of poems the authors provide to support their argument should perhaps be more articulate and systematic in order to be truly persuasive. At times one gets the impression that this book was conceived as a kind of divertissement in wait of future, more carefully planned incursions on the subject.
However, this does not diminish the importance of a book which urges literary critics and all those who like books to consider the cognitive basis of both everyday and literary communication. Also, More than Cool Reason can be read as an accessible introduction to Lakoff and Turner (and Johnson)'s theory of conceptual metaphor. For a much more articulate discussion, I would recommend Lakoff and Johnson's "Philosophy in the Flesh", but then you will have to draw the implications of their theories for literature by yourself.
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