Dynamic instances of interaction: The performative function of iconicity in literary texts

Sign Systems Studies 38 (1/4):270-296 (2010)
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According to C. S. Peirce, resemblance or similarity is the basis for the relationship of iconic signs to their dynamical objects. But what is the basis of resemblance or similarity itself and how is the phenomenon of iconicity generated? How does it function in cultural practices and processes by which various forms of signs are generated? To what extent are they themselves performances? With examples from texts by Virginia Woolf, W. G. Sebald and Reif Larsen, I will argue that literary texts provide us with uniqueresources for exploring, among other matters, the performative dimension of iconicity in the complex interaction among icon, index and metaphor as aprerequisite for semiosis, the generation of signs.
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