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SOURCE:    Philology. Theory & Practice. Tambov: Gramota, 2023. № 1. P. 76-81.
SCIENTIFIC AREA:    Philological Sciences
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Proleptic Symbol of “A Butterfly” in “The Collector” by John Fowles: A Semantic and Semiotic Aspect

Akatova Alexandra Alexandrovna
Kostroma State University

Submitted: 07.12.2022
Abstract. The aim of the study is to present the semiotic mechanisms of the artistic and plot realisation of a proleptic symbol in the metatext of a postmodern novel. The symbol of “a butterfly” was considered using the material of the metatext of the novel “The Collector” by John Fowles in various semantic and semiotic aspects. The analysis of the plot, language and characters of the novel showed that the symbol of “a butterfly” is realised in the semiotic space of the novel as a symbol of “beauty”, “art”, “collecting” and “death” and also functions in the metatext as a proleptic (preliminary) symbol. Another proleptic symbol (“a collector”) was analysed as the paratext of the novel. The complementary symbols of “a butterfly” and “a collector” make it possible to expand the semantics of the metatext of the novel to the general philosophical and aesthetic concept of the author. The study is original in that it is the first to carry out a comprehensive analysis of the proleptic symbol of “a butterfly” and identify variants of contextual “reading” of this sign-symbol at different levels of the metatext of the novel. As a result of analysing the text of the novel, the researcher has managed to identify the mechanism of semiotic reading of the metatext: the dominant role in structuring the metatext is assigned to the sign-symbol of “a butterfly” and the accompanying sign-symbol of “a collector”, which perform a proleptic function and are realised in a variety of symbolic meanings in the context of the novel.
Key words and phrases: пролептический символ, Джон Фаулз, роман «Коллекционер», семиотическое пространство, метатекст, proleptic symbol, John Fowles, novel “The Collector”, semiotic space, metatext
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