But both in totalitarian propaganda and in other more ordinary walks of life, along with the metaphor – a technique of persuasion and manipulation – there have always existed metonymy, plus there existed metaphor with a metonymic component. The latter is characteristic of the artistic, religious and totalitarian discourse. Therefore, in response to the last question on our list, we will continue talking about totalitarian rhetoric, and then turn to the artistic and religious experience. We are going to talk about metaphors with metonymic elements. And only then we are going to talk about metonymy as such.
There is an amazing way to erase the boundaries between political dreams and reality. This method can be called homogeneous metaphors or metaphors with metonymic components. Love can be described through journey. But this metaphor will pipe up very differently if you apply it to a couple who really travels. The expression "it was in the beginning of our journey" means not only the beginning of a relationship, but also preserves the literal meaning. This is exactly how metaphor "smelting of new socialist life" is arranged. On the one hand, smelter is a metaphor, on the other - it is really a characteristic part (metonymy, synecdoche) of life in the USSR during active industrialization period. Metaphor makes assumptions about reality, metonymy tears out a piece of reality. Homogeneous, grounded metaphors make a stronger impression than the usual metaphors. Their resistance towards analysis is maximal. They are most easily absorbed unconsciously. Destruction comes to them from the other side. It comes through a moral or physical obsolescence of the captured reality. I have shown details of this mechanism in my book "Rhetoric of Totalitarianism" [Хазагеров].
Along with the stupid propaganda machine, which used homogeneous metaphors to create a symbolic world, in which working skills acquired metaphorical meaning (steelworker, welder, machinist), a remarkable poet Boris Pasternak created his poetry. His innovation, noticed by Jacobson, was the fact that he turned to the poetics of metonymy, while the main way of poetry is the way of metaphor [Якобсон]. But Pasternak's metonymy has a special character. This is metaphorical metonymy or metonymic metaphor. That is why latest calculations seemed to deny Jacobson's words. When the poet says: "Bluer than drake's plumage dawn rose over Kama", he uses drake's color to characterize the pre-dawn light, color of the sky. This metaphor as such looks exotic enough. But the matter probably is that real drakes, soaring above the river, came into the picture of the dawn. And that makes a seemingly exotic metaphor quite convincing. Readers familiar with the works of Pasternak, would be able to find a lot of similar examples.
Initially homogeneous metaphor was conceptualized in the theory of the symbol, which appeared in the Byzantine Empire during the dispute with the iconoclasts. Defending the sanctity of icons, Dionysius the Areopagite shows that icons are not just signs of deity (metaphorical component), but are connected with sanctity as its parts. [Бычков] This theory of symbol later became an asset for the understanding of symbol in literary theory.
It seems to me that the scale of metaphor's rational analysis has metaphors-symbols as its maximum and scientific metaphors-models as its minimum. Metaphor-antapodosis adjoins the latter – dry allegory, which is usually contrasted with symbol.
Taken by itself metonymy has a higher resistance with respect to critical analysis than a metaphor. Many stable superstitions are based on metonymic associations: "all diseases come from doctors", to "to run into a priest is an unfortunate sign." The second example can be found in Chekhov's story, when a priest shows up on purpose, he runs into his enemy on the road, in order to "prevent him from being elected." Examples of the first delusion are tragic: these are murders of doctors, who were believed to "disseminate cholera." Association by contiguity are more convincing than association by similarity. They do not have violent excogitations.
But the most powerful form of metonymy is synecdoche as a way of typifying. After the triumphal march of Eleanor Rosch prototype theory [Лакофф, p.28-85], which allegedly even shook the Aristotelian logic, there is no need to prove what role in the conceptualization of reality is played by these prototypes. Sparrow is not just a bird, but the bird "to the fullest extent", it can be interpreted as a symbol of a bird. If the child asks what is a bird, you do not say it - it's a two-legged feathered creature, but you say it is, for example, a sparrow. There are certainly different prototypes in different cultures. This fact does not contribute to mutual understanding, more so since the category of prototypes is not limited to innocent objects such as birds, but is used in the description of national features as well.
The ability to manipulate using prototypes is much stronger than with the help of metaphors. Even if we assume an infinite replication of the prototype with the participation of propaganda recipients we have all the ground to assume that the moment of sobriety will come later. Creation of the typical Russian, American or a Jew using the material of reality is much easier and safer than doing it with the help of zoomorphic metaphors. Any person, who is in his right mind, understands anyway that a Jew is not a rat, and a Russian is not a bear. But the "typical" can be fought only with the help of statistics, and we do not always have it at our disposal, we do not always have a tendency to use it, and in addition we believe "our own eyes" (e.g. television picture) more than some figures and numbers.