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Literally Speaking, or, the Literal Sense from Augustine to Lacan

literally, speaking.' Yet am I at the same time speaking literally, literally speaking? My question is not purely rherical. After all, I wrote these words before speaking them, and after speaking them they will be read. How could I, anyway, speak literally at all? I can speak in many ways, unprofessorially, ineffably, even unutterably, but certainly not literally (at least only illiterally literally). The literal is always written, literally. In that sense, the phrase 'literally speaking' is, at best, an oxymoron. So I must crave the forgiveness of both my audirs and my readers for beginning so improperly. I will restate myself, this time non-literally, make myself clearer. (Clearer, you understand, in the figurative sense.) Figuratively speaking, and restricting myself in future entirely dead metaphors, I am, literally, speaking, so speak. Or so I am, I say. What am I talking about? That is easily answered. This should be the shortest paper ever: I may be able finish it without saying anything at all. My subject is the literal sense. The literal sense of the literal sense. Perhaps, more properly, the literal sense of the literal sense of the literal sense. There, I've said it. What do I http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Paragraph Edinburgh University Press

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