Volume 35, Issue 3/4, 2019
Richard L. Lanigan
Crossing Out Normative Boundaries in Psychosis
The Communicology of a Social Semiotic Passage in Dickens’ Bleak House
The coding function of semiotic-systems in literature is explored as an example of Umberto Eco’s real and fictional protocols in the play of discourse formation (lector in fabula). The intricate phenomenological levels of intersemiotic translation (apposition, opposition, chiasm, zeugma) are illustrated by analyzing a rhetorical passage (semiotic object) from Charles Dickens’ novel Bleak House. The passage on the logic of series (“lists”) allows us to explore fact/fiction, real/imaginary, normal/abnormal, sane/insane, neurotic/psychotic choices as discourse voice protocols (active, middle, passive) for the axiological interpretation (ethic, moral, aesthetic, politic, and rhetoric) of meaning formation (tropes) and signification function (figures). Models of discourse are drawn from Benveniste, Foucault, Greimas, Lévi-Strauss, and Wilden.