[NB] Mittens, Gloves, and Bundling: Metaphor and Metonymy

I almost deleted this one, but the question of metaphor and metonymy is going to come into play in the summation phase, so I decided to post it anyway. For the heck of it, I have left in some of my revision notes (the bracketed text at the end). I was writing this one mid-December, 2016, so not so long ago.

. . .

I have been reflecting about how to talk about the nature of the work undertaken and on how often I write/talk about it through a mitten, and how to find my way to a glove. I don’t think I’m always working the mitten, that I have been closer to glove at some points rather than others, and to that end I want to list some of the writings that helped me shift how I work in the hopes of working back toward changing how I talk and write.

Three things come to mind:

Nooter Roberts, Mary. “Proofs and promises: setting meaning before the eyes.” In Insight and Artistry in African Divination edited by John Pemberton III. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 2000.

An account of Luba divination, it pointed out the metonymic dimensions of it, and opened my mind toward the complex role of metonymy in subtle work, one that shook me loose from the chains of metaphor and symbolism.

Tedlock, Barbara. Time and the Highland Maya. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1982.

Tedlock made a small but vital observation when she talked about the day signs, pointing out that they weren’t symbols at all, but mnemonic (i.e., metonymic) tools to organize a diverse objects and domains, more an encyclopedia than a category.

Guernsey, Julia, and F. Kent Reilly, eds. Sacred Bundles: Ritual Acts of Wrapping and Binding in Mesoamerica. Barnardsville, N.C.: Boundary End Aracheological Research Center, 2006.

Think about what happens when you put metonymy first, of the intersection with the funerary rites, and the ways in which the mesoamerican ‘gods’ are notoriously slippery, sharing regalia and roles.

A page from the Codex Borgia, it is a complicated drawing difficult to describe in alt text. Top of the page: A yellow and red pot flanked by skulls, filled with various objects and topped by a human face. Beneath pot: an elaborate dog-human hybrid figure kneeling in front of a stool or throne and facing an Aztec letter (Ollin)represented as two interlocking angles, one in red and the other in green and both accented with a stripe of yellow stripe along the interior fo the angle..

[Probably should be a pansophism post, an expansion of the reading list along a topical point, namely toward a magical way of being that de-prioritizes metaphor and substitution and re-emphasizes metonymy and bundling. That shift away from substitution is a big one, no equal things, only different forms of relation. Communication above a presumed harmony of equations.]

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