What Happened to Allegory? Two Histories and Five Meanings of Allegory

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This essay addresses the causes of the decline of interest in
the problem of allegory, as a relatively general theoretical problem, despite
the allegorical character of a considerable part of the twentieth century prose
and poetry, and in spite of the presence of allegorical qualities in a significant
part of the post-war popular culture. It both describes and analyzes several
meanings habitually ascribed to allegory, as well as the complex interaction
between these meanings. The essay aims to clarify these causes in the hopes
that their better understanding will make it possible to reassess of the entire
question of allegorical representation and will enable the emergence of a new,
more comprehensive and empirically adequate, theory of allegory. As a first
step towards such theory, the essay proposes the definition of allegory as complex correlation between a specific phenomenological modality and its literary
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)157 – 185
StatePublished - 2021


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