objective correlative

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objective correlative (plural objective correlatives)

  1. A physical representation or manifestation of an abstract concept; especially, a symbolic artistic representation of a particular emotion, feeling etc.
    • 2007, Mat Snow, The Guardian, 2 Feb 2007:
      Neil Young invented strung-out country-rock in 1975 with his album Tonight's the Night, its bittersweet desolation finding an objective correlative in the setting of America's south-western desert states.
    • 2009, Karen Armstrong, The Case for God, Vintage 2010, p. 46:
      Eleven years later, in 586, after another senseless revolt, Jerusalem was destroyed and Yahweh's temple, his objective correlative on earth, was burned to the ground.