Metaphor and Meaning

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Originally published in Contemporary Psychology: APA Review of Books, 1998, Vol 43(10), 682. Review of “The Constructionist Metaphor: Reading, Writing, and the Making of Meaning” by Nancy Nelson Spivey. In his poem “The Lady of Shallot,” Alfred Lord Tennyson tells the tale of a young maiden who, through a curse, is denied access to the outside world. Sitting at her loom she weaves reflected images from a looking glass into the materials she fashions, and longs for contact with the real world that is forever denied her senses. Nancy Nelson Spivey's book weaves a similar tale, full of complexity and subtlety. Like the Lady of Shallot, Spivey's view is of an individual denied direct access to reality. Instead, each of us must remain content to make meaning of the world through the thick tissues of our own constructions. Neimeyer summarizes Spivey's book and discusses its strengths and weaknesses. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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