Rilke’s Semiotic Potential: Iconicity and Performance
English & Comparative Literature Department
American Journal of Semiotics
This article demonstrates how a new reading of Rilke’s poetry can provide a basis for comparing and contrasting the aesthetic approach to art and the language-based approach that foregrounds the role of metaphor and materiality in literary production. Lessing’s Laocoön is discussed in terms of an implied dialogue between painting and poetry, which, however, acquires a different valence when the Fifth of Rilke’s Duino Elegies suggests that poetry itself functions as a ‘metaphorical hypoicon’ allowing for shared meanings. My concluding remarks emphasize the importance of the performing self to a complete understanding of Rilke’s semiotic potential.
Melaney, William D. (2002). Rilke’s Semiotic Potential: Iconicity and Performance. American Journal of Semiotics 18 (1/4):159-172.