Von Andreas Josef Vater
The bible-compilation Geistliche Herzens-Einbildungen in zweihundertund-fünfzig biblischen Figur-Sprüchen angedeutet was first published by Melchior Mattsperger in 1684. The work’s most notable feature are figures substituting words. Today they are mainly considered as an educational instrument for children to improve their language- and reading-skills. In my paper I am questioning this point of view by taking a closer look at the figures and by investigating the reasons for such a misguided interpretation. I will demonstrate that Mattsperger’s book was originally intended as an intellectual game. Furthermore, I will argue that such a reevaluation requires a fundamental shift in the so far one-sided linguistical perception of figures of substitution.