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On Ridala’s Iconics in the context of Symbolist Aesthetics

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Author(s): Ülar Ploom

Journal: Methis : Studia humaniora Estonica
ISSN 1736-6852

Volume: 1;
Issue: 1-2;
Start page: 71;
Date: 2008;
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ABSTRACT
This article examines those aspects of Ridala’s poetics that have not received in-depth analysis to date, particularly his iconics: his graphic-imagistic diagrammatism on the one hand; durativity – the lasting and progressive quality of its soundpictures, on the other. The point of departure is the French sound symbolism (particularly that of Verlaine) in texts from Ridala’s early (to some extent also middle) period; the influences of Italian late romanticism and new classicism (particularly Carducci), and the melding of these with thesearch for qualities that are archaically or authentically Estonian. Juxtaposed with modern influences is Ridala’s application of anti-metrics when representing Estonian landscapes. These observations permit the hypothesis that Ridala was attempting a radical renewal of Estonian poetry, and in this respect the author of this article arrives at a rather different conclusion from that of Semper.The analytical section of the article draws upon M. K. Hiraga’s cognitive-semiotic model (2006) based on Peirce and the cognitivists, which considers metaphor to be a blending into a new concept, subsequent to a visual-iconic source-target relation and its representation by means of an iconic diagram or imagescheme.On this basis a new, blended concept is formed. As shown by the analysis, there are several texts in Ridala’s early and middle creative periods in which the iconic-diagrammatic level dominates, never truly arriving at the third step of conceptualization (neverfinding a definite common denominator). This allows us to regard Ridala’s iconics in the key of symbolist allegory, even in several examples that appear to be realistic natural landscape pictures of the homeland.
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