RARA-AVIS: Metonymy supplants synecdoche

From: Michael Robison ( miker_zspider@yahoo.com)
Date: 17 Mar 2004

Marc Seals wrote: I don't think that the story reference is to Maupassant; William Marling suggests that it's more likely a reference to Somerset Maugham's "Mr. Know-all." If you've never read Marling, I think he's perhaps the best literary critic of the genre.

***************** What! It's not a reference to "The Necklace?" But the story is about a woman who loses a necklace and, and... I'll have to read the Maugham story.

I've got Marling's AMERICAN ROMAN NOIR. He's really sharp. I have some trouble understanding him sometimes, though. He starts out a paragraph with:
"The tendency of Chandler's metaphors is to posit a mechanistic post-Einsteinian world, a world of time, space, mass, motion, and inertia." Now that's some pretty wild stuff. I didn't have a clue as to what he was talking about until he wrapped it up neatly at the end of the paragraph: "The physics stands out, but the metonymy supplants synecdoche in this progression." Why didn't he just say that in the first place?

Best of luck on your dissertation, Marc.


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