CRF Blog

From Milton to McEwan: the beauty of metaphor

by Bill Hayes

In From Milton to McEwan: the beauty of metaphor, the Irish Times reviews Metaphor by Denis Donoghue.

Similes, Donoghue suggests, don’t alter the world the way metaphors do. “No wild intention transpires in a language that says something is like something else.”

This is not just a matter of grammar, of the explicit mark of comparison, although that contingency is important. It is a matter of imaginative action. “A simile compares one thing with another, without changing either of the entities compared; it is a tangent that doesn’t dislodge the circle it touches.” We note the nifty use of a metaphor to say what a simile doesn’t do. [more]