ADVANTAGES

(b) Autonomous (reflexive) text : relative text (referred to something outside itself). Todorov’s "allegory" is a bag into which countless heterogeneous matters are stuffed. Culturally local (ethnocentric) allegory is something different from universal allegory. What is allegorical in the cultural sphere may be "mere entertainment" or "pure fantasy" for ethnically alien readers, in line with the saying: "Wer den Dichter will verstehen, muss in Dichters Lande gehen." The symbolism peculiar to Japanese prose may be unrecognizable by us, for precisely this reason. And again, symbolic character of a text does not necessarily make it allegorical. Whatever is a normative symbol (pertaining to taboo, say) of a given culture is neither arbitrary, not fantastic, nor "imaginary" for that culture’s members. Whether a given text is autonomous or relative is determined by the community of culture between the author and his readers.

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