BOKE index

/ a rhetorical index of rhetoric
selected and rhetorisized by BOKE



SOURCE: ENGAGING FRAGMENTS AJC:Volume 6, Issue 4, Summer 2003
Michael Calvin McGee: Some Memories to Share, Gina Twitty McGee

... But, then, I took a class from [Michael Calvin] McGee, "Introduction to Rhetorical Theory," and my life changed forever. >>>

>>> Seeking the answer to "why people did what they did" had me looking to English, Political Science, Journalism, Sociology, and American Studies; >>>

>>> but I found the answer in Rhetoric, a word I only learned in my junior year's spring semester, 1970. And, McGee's class gave me the perspective that I had longed to find since I first became conscious of society and politics in sixth grade -- >>>

>>> the Rhetorical Perspective.



"Rhetoricians today face similar, though more complicated challenges to what rhetoricians in premodern and modern societies faced. Rhetoricians help people deal with representations -- the hyperreality of myths, legends, images, and Internet cultures -- on a day-to-day basis through interpretation and critique.

But technology has had the effect of fragmenting cultures and texts creating this postmodern condition. This is both good and bad for rhetoricians: our jobs are not as straightorward.

This postmodern condition requires us to work on the surface eof our representations, piecing together fragments from the multiplicity of discourses, making sense of them making arguments with them, and making judgements through them.

.... Now rhetoricians must act as both audiences and speechmakers in their construction of coherent and believeable texts ..."


Rhetoric, Literature, and the Disassociation of Invention (Sharon Crowley)

...We have, in other words, accepted the premises of aesthetic idealism for literary study but not for rhetoric or for its daughter discipline, composition.That art we have cordoned off into a formalism that is so highly conventionalized that it `has become part of American folklore

What will remedy this state of affairs? Susan Miller suggest that a balanced view of the profession can be attained only if it is possible to modify both the hesitancy of literary scholars to acknowledge their relation to 'public man' and the wilingness of composition researchers to smooth out the variables to describe groups of writers" (224).

My own suggestion is that literature and composition can most clearly be seen as compatible arts within the frameword that is provided by study of the theory and history of rhetoric.

But I have little faith that rhetoric -- in its classical, public snese -- will come to occupy the center of training in English in the near future, given the entrenchment of literary study and the increasingly empirical bent of research in composition.

Perhaps if literary scholars were to re-interest themselves in a theory of literary invention, the mutuality of the two arts would become as apparent to us as it was to classical thinkers.

Cicero, who noted of the discursive arts that "the flow of language running in different channels does not spring from different sources, and wherever it goes the same supply of matter and equipment of style go with it." (De Oratore,III, v, 19-20)


SOURCE: BAD SUBJECTS 18: Cyberspace (January 1995)
The Flames of Hell: Death and War in Cyberspace (David Hawkes)

... Millard's analysis confirmed me in my opinion that the opprobrium with which 'personal attacks' are presently viewed is a recent and specific judgment which rises to prominence with the bourgeosie, and which is unlikely to survive the advent of the Information Society.

... Salmasius, who had recently had the misfortune to die and thus render himself defenceless, was according to Milton a satanist, an animal, a pimp, a hermaphrodite, a vile worm whom even to mention pollutes the mouths of decent people.

Milton's only regret is that he had not been quicker to publish these calumnies, therby affording his opponent 'a shot delay of vengeance and of punishment.'

But what seems most strange to modern readers is that Milton -- a man who in every other respect appears a model of decency, generosity and virtue -- actually claims to have KILLED Salmasius. [with his rhetorical attack]. ...

RHETORIC is power. Writing [rhetorical transmission - writing, speaking, animation, tv/film ...] can and does change things.

VIOLENCE is also power, and also changes things.

The history of revolutions suggests that an imperative task for revolutionaries is to prize apart rhetoric and violence.

A violent revolution is neither possible nor desirable.

A rhetorical revolution is both.

Any radical [reasonable] change in the postmodern age will come about through a revolution of the mind: changes in material circumstances will be the result of spiritual changes, not the other way around. since all mental processes take place in language, the linguistic battlefield is of central importance. We must not deprive ourselves of the weapons we will need to win rhetorical battles.

Nor must we pretend that they are not battles ...