Catachresis


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Related to Catachresis: chiasmus, zeugma

Catachresis

 

in stylistics, a combination of lexically incompatible words that form a unique and meaningful whole (compare with oxymoron, a combination of words with contrasting and opposite meanings, such as in “a living corpse.”)

There are two types of catachresis: (1) that which comes into being naturally, through the development of the nominative means of a language, and which may be perceived at first as incorrect word usage (“white brownstone,” “to sail a steamship”); and (2) that which is created deliberately, for an intended effect (“black gold,” “when the crab whistles”). Catachresis can be either a verbal blunder (“let not the arms of the sharks of imperialism extend to us”), where the tropes are joined mechanically, or an illustration of great artistic skill:

But through the listless night the serpents of remorse

More shrewdly burn within me …

A. S. Pushkin

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The New Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics tellingly notes that Milton's "blind mouths" is an example of catachresis (Hollander, remember, used the words as an example of metalepsis).
Sex and religion, savage and civilized are brought together in the notion of a "sexual fetish" through "a kind of catachresis.
For Shelley (and, I would hazard, for de Man), the "positing power of language" as pure metaphoricity, not catachresis, is the presiding invisible presence of the positing power of death that, though this is not de Man's point, enters Shelley's final fragment at "the margin of the last manuscript page" now become the finished poem's opening lines:
His poetic language is not clever nonsense--which is what Taylor's description of catachresis may sound like--but is a presentation of what terrifies and inspires" (50).
And anything that counteracts catachresis is fine with us.
Cornwell, Gareth 2007 "He and His Man": Allegory and Catachresis in J.
For what is theory, after all, but an idealizing metaphorization, if not also a catachresis, of the gaze, the look, in ancient Greek theoria, the possibility--or is that impossibility?
If that sounds paradoxical, it is consistent with the oxymoron or catachresis in the title he gave his third film: Images of Asian Music (A Diary from Life 1973-74).
In this way, his general focus is not unlike that of Cosgrove, but whereas Cosgrove generated the terms of his argument from within Joycean issues, Mahon applies concepts derived from Derrida's readings of various philosophical figures to Joyce, resulting in a conceptual catachresis.
Perhaps the most pernicious catachresis of the twentieth century was the misappropriation by the Nazis and their sympathizers of the term "Aryan" to describe the superior race presumably embodied by Germans and "Indo-European" (i.
A closely argued chapter on classical rhetoric shows how some English translations of Cicero and Quintilian suggest a sharper distinction between metaphor and catachresis than the Romans were willing to make.
They describe why the free market is like a novel, how the tropological economy of Catachresis works, and how to get a return on a repressed in a libidinal economy.