Literary Language

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Literary Language Wheelwright describes literary language as being "depth" or "expressive" language, whilst he sees instrumental language, or non-literary language, as being that which is "the negative limit of expressive language" (http://www.sp.uconn.edu/~jbl00001/FINCHAP1.htm). Literary text is something which has many layers of meaning and although, appearing on the surface as narrative, has a deliberate ambiguity to it and is never straightforward. Scholars call this multiple meaning of the literary language various terms such as 'plurisignaiton', 'polysemy', or poly- or multi-valency. The metaphors and similes and indirect layers of meaning point to the polysemy of the text. That polysemy is a part of literary language is recognized by Hayles who stated that "For someone steeped in literary analysis, it is a given that multiple signification is a plus rather than a minus, or to use metaphors more appropriate to literature, a story rather than a scandal" (How We Became Posthuman, 60). Literature, in other words, possesses various levels or depth and it is this that primarily separates it from instrumental language. Often this polysemious character is more evident in poems than in narrative as depicted in Donne's poem 'Go catch a fallen star'. Allusions to religion appear thrice in this poem: the "Devil's foot' and 'pilgrimage' as well as 'fallen angels'. It may be that Donne is creating a parallel between the religious search and between the search for physical/
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