26th session of Liberal Forum: Omnipresent Metaphors—a Brief Discussion of Qian Zhongshu’s View of Metaphors

Publish Time:2019-07-12 Author: Views:27

The 26th session of Liberal Forum was held on July 8 at the Arts and Science Building, with the theme of “Omnipresent Metaphor”—a brief discussion of Qian Zhongshu’s View of Metaphor, aiming at improving students’ cultural literacy and enhancing their understanding of metaphors. The lecture was given by Dr. Liu Tao, associate professor of Central China Normal University College of Arts, and hosted by associate professor Shen Zhuangjuan, dean of College of Chinese Language and Literature. More than 150 students attended the lecture.

Dr. Liu introduced to the audience Qian Zhongshu as well as his representative works, presented Li Shenzhi’s comments about Qian, pointed out that metaphor is one of the core topics on Qian’s works by listing some representative metaphors in his works. He discussed about Qian Zhongshu’s view of metaphors from three aspects: omnipresent metaphor, the internal mechanism of metaphor, bilateral and multilateral metaphor.

Dr. Liu said that people’s daily conceptual thinking reveals its metaphorical nature, such as gender metaphor, war metaphor, time metaphor, etc. Metaphors We Live By also mentioned that mostly people are thinking and behaving in a metaphorical way. By comparing Qian’s metaphor philosophy with Aristotle’s and I.A. Charlize’s, he explained the historic significance and uniqueness of Qian’s views. Then he explained bilateral metaphor with “reflecting moon in the water”, “metaphor as a scale” and multilateral metaphor with the multiplicity of the same thing, believing that Qian Zhongshu combined the bilateral with multilateral metaphor and classified various complicated situations, and Qian’s approach contained some important academic innovation. According to Dr. Liu, Qian had already put forward a metaphor theory in his youth that was similar to the cognitive linguistics in the west yet far earlier than the latter. Dr. Liu concluded that Qian had a profound knowledge and understanding of metaphor, which has great implications to our contemporary studies.

Aiming to increase students’ knowledge and broaden their horizon, this lecture has strengthened their cultural literacy and contributed to a good academic atmosphere on campus. Cui Huihui, a Chinese major student from Class 1802, said, “Dr. Liu is very humorous; he explained Qian’s concept of metaphor to us with simple words and vivid examples. From Liu’s lecture, we’ve also learned much about philosophy and we are all impressed by his wide knowledge.”


TranslatorsFang Qin;Gao Chengyu

Proofreaders: Duan Xiaoyan;Fang Qin

Tutor: Sun Luping