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Beautiful Theology

Signifying truth in more than words alone

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Comics News

Words and Images 7

The next frame follows directly from the previous one:

Une image peut prendre la place d’un mot dans une proposition:

An image can take the place of a word in a proposition.

Right? We don’t need verbal signs exclusively to communicate linguistically (OK, I’m not sure “linguistically” applies in the strictest sense here; maybe someone can help me). That’s true, in this case, of pictorial representation, but also true of other sorts of non-alphabetic communication (this from W. J. T. Mitchell’s Iconology):

Words are part of a continuum from strictly alphabetic communication (which remains nonetheless graphically inflected) to non-alphabetic communication (which can never escape linguistic resonances) — but “words” don’t have a privileged claim on “meaning,” nor do they so constitute a paradigmatic instance of expression/meaning that we can afford to develop our hermeneutics on the basis of a linguistically-delimited model. Or, so say I, anyway.