I believe that many readers have once felt a very embarrassing scene, that is, when many film and television actors are performing, some lines appear very stupid.
For example, shouting out the name of the move when attacking the enemy, shouting "no" when expressing extreme emotions, etc. If a person who performs such behavior appears in reality, he will appear to be very "secondary". .
However, when we read narrative texts such as novels, such lines did not arouse the reader's immediate resistance. It seems to be a normal thing.
This kind of contrast has naturally attracted the attention of many scholars, so people focus on the "language" used in literary creation.
What role did "language" play in the formation of literary works?
A literary work must be constructed using certain languages, even if there is no oral literature, such as Homer's epic, that has no form or writing at the beginning, because language is an information carrier that precedes writing.
Then, when the author uses certain languages to complete his work, the most obvious role of language is to act as a bridge and medium between the author’s inner world and the work. The author needs to apply his thoughts and emotions to the language in order to be People perceive it.
This is the concept of "Language Tool Theory", which believes that language is nothing but a tool, dominated by "content" in literary creation. That is, what content is used determines what language is selected.
Gorky once clearly stated that language is only the main tool that constitutes literature, and all kinds of facts, life phenomena, etc., are the material of literary works.
This concept has its rationality. People's thoughts and feelings are intangible, and only through the expression of language can they create a shell that can be perceived by other people. But this view has another very fatal flaw, that is, language seems to be only a passive tool without any initiative.
The question is, when there is no literary work, how can the thoughts and feelings in people's hearts be perceived by themselves? Obviously, the author also needs language before creating, and language is no longer a mere tool.
In response to this question, "language ontology" was born. People believe that the essence of language is a way for people to perceive and understand the world. Different people and different languages have different functions.
For example, people who can speak many foreign languages can access a much wider world than people who only speak a single language. This is not a gap that can be filled through "translation". The value concept, aesthetic interest, etc. will be expanded. , Its vision becomes wider. For example, when Chinese classical poetry is translated into English, most of its interest is lost, or even beyond recognition. It is difficult for people who do not understand Chinese to understand classical Chinese poetry through such works.
But this view exaggerates the function of language too much. It seems that the meaning of literary works is brought by language. The most fundamental drawback is that everyday language and literary language are not two independent systems, and literary language is not an original system created by the author.
Therefore, when absurd scenes in daily life are taken for granted in literary works, the attention behind them naturally becomes the difference between daily language and literary language.
How is the "language" used in writing a novel different from the language in daily life?
Speaking of "daily language" and "literary language", perhaps the first reaction of many people is the difference between "spoken language" and "written language". This view needs to be discarded. There are also a large number of spoken language elements in narrative literature. It is not the difference between the two.
The difference between "ordinary language" and "literary language" is, first of all, the way of expression of their "meaning". Everyday language is "single", while literary language is "mutual meaning".
In daily life, almost all languages have a very clear meaning. For example, if someone asks you whether you have eaten or not, you only need to answer "eat" or "don't eat", and the other party will not be confused whether the person you "eat" or "don't eat" is the "meal" he asked. .
In other words, the meaning of the language we use in daily life belongs only to itself, and is limited by the sentence it is in, so there is no need to reconfirm its meaning.
However, literary language is different. Literature itself is a complete system, so the language that constitutes this system is no longer a mere information carrier, but has other additional meanings. This is why "a thousand readers have a thousand Hamlet", the connotation expressed by literary language is uncertain.
The language that constitutes a literary work not only expresses meaning by itself, but also acquires new meanings through the "words" and "sentences" before and after it, and even in all works.
The most typical performance is the role of "environmental description" in narrative. A cold environment atmosphere is not simply a description of the environment, but more likely to be the highlight of the tension or the exposure of the gloomy mood of the characters.
Obviously, compared with ordinary language in literary works, the function of reference has been weakened, but the ability of expression has been enhanced.
In addition, the everyday language we use is "externally referent", while literary language is "internally referent".
What is the "extrinsicity" of everyday language? In fact, it is very simple, that is, in daily life, language and writing are a kind of symbol, and people's focus is not the symbol itself, but the meaning it contains, that is, the information it conveys.
Therefore, this information must conform to the logic of the objective world. Someone asks you whether you have eaten or not, and you say that you not only ate, but also ate hot pot. This is logical; but if you say that you ate a car, this is obviously confusing, because people cannot say "car "For food, such an answer does not conform to the logic of the objective world.
But in literary works, it is another situation. The authenticity of literature is not equal to the authenticity of the real world, that is, literary language has "internal referencing."
The language that constitutes a literary work only needs to conform to the world constructed by the work itself. It does not have to completely conform to the logic of the real world, and it can also give people authenticity.
For example, in works with themes such as "Fictions of Gods and Demons" in Classical Literature, and "Fictions of Xia Xia" in Internet Literature, the ability of the characters to fly into the sky does not conform to the logic of reality in daily life, but in the world constructed by the novel But it can exist.
This is not only the case of narrative literature, but also lyric literature, such as Du Fu’s "Splash of tears when feeling the time, hate goodbye to the birds", Li Bai’s "Flying down three thousand feet, suspected that the Milky Way falls nine days" and other verses, They are just descriptions that exist in the literary world. Although they do not conform to the logic of the objective world, readers will not feel inconsistent in them.
It can be seen from this that it is precisely because the literary language that constitutes a work has the characteristics of "mutual meaning" and "internal reference", the world depicted in literary works is separated from real life. When people are reading, they are actually brought into the virtual world constructed by literary works, and the way of thinking will inevitably be affected by the virtual world.
Therefore, when the normal phenomena in the literary world are transformed into visual effects, they deviate from the original aesthetic field in the work and replace them with the logic of the real world, and people will suddenly notice many embarrassing scenes that they never perceive when reading. .
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