Distribution Automatique

Tuesday, February 17

from *Semiotics of Art* edited by
Ladislav Matejka and Irwin R. Titunik
MIT, 1984

"....Thus, in poetry, as against informational language,
there is a reversal in the hierarchy of relations:
in the latter attention is focussed above all on
the relation, important from the practical point of view,
between reference and reality, whereas for the former
it is the relationship between the reference and the
context incorporating it that stands to the fore. This
is not to say that informational reference is absolutely
exempt from any effect of the context or that, on the
other hand, poetic reference is excluded from any contact
with reality. All that is involved is a shift, so to speak,
in the center of gravity. As for poetic reference, the
weakening of its immediate relationship with reality
makes of it an artistic device. That means that the
poetic reference is not evaluated in terms of an
extralinguistic mission but with relation to the role
imposed upon it in the organization of the work's
semantic unity."