The facts of nature are what they are, but we can only view them through the spectacles of our mind. Our mind works largely by metaphor and comparison, not always (or often) by relentless logic. When we are caught in conceptual traps, the best exit is often a change in metaphor - not because the new guideline will be truer to nature (for neither the old nor the new metaphor lies 'out there' in the woods), but because we need a shift to more fruitful perspectives, and metaphor is often the best agent of conceptual transition.
The beauty of a metaphor is it doesn't have to be real to ring true. The instant a metaphor becomes true it ceases to be a metaphor, which suggests a disconnect between truth and what's commonly referred to as reality.
Creativity is more about taking the facts, fictions, and feelings we store away and finding new ways to connect them. What we're talking about here is metaphor. Metaphor is the lifeblood of all art, if it is not art itself. Metaphor is our vocabulary for connecting what we are experiencing now with what we have experienced before. It's not only how we express what we remember , it's how we interpret it - for ourselves and others.
Mathematics, which most of us see as the most factual of all sciences, constitutes the most colossal metaphor imaginable, and must be judged, aesthetically as well as intellectually in terms of the success of this metaphor.
The greatest thing by far is to be a master of metaphor; it is the one thing that cannot be learnt from others; and it is also a sign of genius, since a good metaphor implies an intuitive perception of the similarity in the dissimilar.
They [Fairy Tales] are talking about real emotions, telling true stories, through the medium of metaphor. People used to understand metaphor better than I think we do now. But these stories are so potent, they refuse to die.
For the people of my country, " Renato said, "water is everything: love, life, religion... even God." "It is like that for me too, " I said. "In English we call that a metaphor." "Of course, " said Renato, "and water is the most abundant metaphor on earth.
Tolstoy does not tell us how things look to the author; he tells us how they look to the characters. In short, he does not use simile and metaphor. (That astonishing assertion in Wood's review is what got me started reading Tolstoy in the first place. How can anyone write without using metaphor and simile? That would be like-never mind.)
It is a great thing, indeed, to make a proper use of the poetical forms, as also of compounds and strange words. But the greatest thing by far is to be a master of metaphor. It is the one thing that cannot be learnt from others; and it is also a sign of genius, since a good metaphor implies an intuitive perception of the similarity in dissimilars.
Any important disease whose causality is murky, and for which treatment is ineffectual, tends to be awash in significance. First, the subjects of deepest dread (corruption, decay, pollution, anomie, weakness) are identified with the disease. The disease itself becomes a metaphor. Then, in the name of the disease (that is, using it as a metaphor), that horror is imposed on other things. The disease becomes adjectival. Something is said to be disease-like, meaning that it is disgusting or ugly.