1 Engelsk, Department of Language and Communication, Faculty of Humanities, SDU2 Department for the Study of Culture, Faculty of Humanities, SDU3 Literature, Department for the Study of Culture, Faculty of Humanities, SDU4 Engelsk, Department of Language and Communication, Faculty of Humanities, SDU
The article argues for the existence of linguistic and generic resources that may be globally shared, irrespective of cultural differences. Three main points are forwarded. First, animistic metaphors and personifications evoke an archaic vision that survives in all languages and conceptual systems, and which is particularly strong in English, a “lingua franca” within many professional disciplines as well as that of fan fiction. Second, the anthropology of the imagination developed by the French scholar Gilbert Durand suggests linguistic areas not covered by Structuralism’s functional definition of verbal meaning: Durand distinguishes between words and images, argues that certain images are pre-conceptual and pre-linguistic, and concludes that such signs have inherent, not merely differential, meaning. Finally, the genre of romance—in modern terms fantasy or magic realism—may convey globally shared meanings as it uses those basic, pre-scientific images as structural principles in organizing narratives.