Page from the Codex Seraphinianus, completed by Luigi Serafini in 1978 and first published in two volumes in 1981. It is an illustrated encyclopedia of another universe, written in an alien script.

Roland Barthes writes:

But if we call metonymy this transfer of meaning from one chain to the other at different levels of metaphor (the “eye sucked like a breast”, “drinking my left eye between her lips”) we shall probably concede that Bataille’s eroticism is essentially metonymic. Since the poetic technique employed here consists in demolishing the usual contiguities of objects and substituting fresh encounters that are nevertheless limited by the persistence of a single theme within each metaphor, the result is a kind of general contagion of qualities and actions: by virtue of their metaphorical dependence eye, sun, and egg are closely bound up with the genital; by virtue of their metonymic freedom they endlessly exchange meanings and usages in such a way that breaking eggs in a bath tub, swallowing or peeling eggs (softboiled), cutting up or putting out an eye or using one in sex play, associating a saucer of milk with a cunt or a beam of light with a jet of urine, biting the bull’s testicle like an egg or inserting it in the body - all these associations are at the same time identical and other. For the metaphor that varies them exhibits a controlled difference between them that the metonymy that interchanges them immediately sets about abolishing. The world becomes blurred; properties are no longer separate; spilling, sobbing, urinating, ejaculating form a wavy meaning, and the whole of Story of the Eye signifies in the manner of a vibration that always gives the same sound (but what sound?) (Roland Barthes, “The Metaphor of the Eye”, first published in Critique in 1963).

Notes

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    indovinate chi ha nella sua scrivania questo bel libro??? eccomi :-)
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