The smell of rest and the taste of love by John M. R. Dahl.

Title: The smell of rest and the taste of love. Analysing olfactory and gustatory metaphor in theatre.

John M. R. Dahl (

Abstract for AIM presentation 7-3-‘14 Research on multimodal metaphor has hitherto not been concerned with olfactory or gustatory metaphors; metaphors where one or both of the domains are cued by smell or by taste. The only form of mass communication that to some extent makes intentional use of odour and taste is theatre performances. In my talk, I analyse the use of olfactory and gustatory metaphors in the performances Salt by Odin Teatret and Wine Cabaret by OZCabaret. I propose Forceville’s (1996) model of pictorial metaphor in advertising and Ricoeur’s (1977) reading of Aristotle’s account of metaphors function in tragedy as useful starting points for this purpose. Furthermore, I point out some analytical problems that must be taken into account in such an analysis. Finally, I suggest some cognitive and aesthetic qualities that seems to be prominent for metaphors of olfaction and gustation, based on my analysis and on studies from art theory and psychology.

Forceville, C. (1996). Pictorial Metaphor in Advertising. London/New York: Routledge.

Ricoeur, P. [1975] (1977). The Rule of Metaphor [La métaphore vive]. English translation by R.   Czerny. London/New York: Routledge.


SEAS World Launch: Odessa, Ukraione, 24 May – 1 June 2008. ODIN TEATRET, SALT.  Photo © Bernd Uhlig

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