Visual, auditory, and cognitive iconicity in written literature

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This article demonstrates an analytical approach that might be used as a method for disentangling the manifold iconic layers and aspects of written literature. The goal is to make a clear and practice-oriented presentation of some of the most overarching types of iconicity, based on the assumption that iconicity – as representation in general – must be understood in terms of both sensory activity and cognition. One specific literary text, Emily Dickinson’s poem “Because I could not stop for Death” (1862), is analyzed as an example via a broad field of iconic traits, structured as visual, auditory, and cognitive iconicity. Although applied to a visual, literary text, the delineated method may be extended to any other kind of medium, taking into account relevant sensory properties and cognitive aspects.


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