Menu Close

Remo Gramigna

University of Torino, Italy

Figurative ways into meaning-making: Notes on the semiotics of (visual) metaphors

This paper presents an approach to understanding visual metaphor from a semiotic perspective. Within the domain of semiotics, the concept of metaphor has received a great deal of attention, showing both the limits and challenges of theories of metaphors. Historically, linguistic metaphors have received more scholarly interest as compared to visual metaphors. Scholars such as Umberto Eco, Roman Jakobson, Winfried Nöth, Algirdas Greimas, Marcel Danesi and many others have paid tribute to such an issue and the scholarly interest in metaphors, especially in the visual modality, resurfaces today in a time when the politics of images is key. This paper seeks to provide a critical overview of the main perspectives on (visual metaphors) developed within semiotics; it dwells on the ‘figurative way’ as a modality of meaning-making against vs other ways of untruthfulness (deceptive versus non deceptive types of untruthfulness) ; it provides some examples for discussion.