(urth) Literal or metaphor?

Dan'l Danehy-Oakes danldo at gmail.com
Thu Apr 11 13:23:15 PDT 2013

Without wanting to take any position on the current discussion, a metapoint:

Samuel R. Delany (a writer of Wolfe's "generation" of SF writers) points
out in several places that one of the powerful "features" of science
fiction is to literalize metaphors.

For example, in a mundane novel "He turned on his left side" means someone
rolled over in bed; in an SF novel it may mean that someone threw a switch
to activate half their body. Or the muzzy metaphor "Her world exploded" may
mean that a planet belonging to some woman blowed up real good.

The point here is that saying that something is a metaphor doesn't mean
that it isn't also literally true -- or even _primarily_ literally true.

Dan'l Danehy-Oakes
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