New Chapters in the History of Rhetoric

Un libro in lingua di Pernot Laurent (EDT) edito da Brill Academic Pub, 2009

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This introductory volume to a new series on the history of rhetoric presents an overview of the subject that should dispel any idea that rhetoric existed only in Greek and Roman texts. Pernot (Greek language and literature, University of Strasbourg) selected essays that clearly show the wide application of rhetoric from its Greek and Latin codification to the present. Several authors echo the sentiments of the first essay that the word "rhetoric" has come to mean a veiling of intent or a distortion of facts. The clarification of the term is a subtext that runs through the book. Part one discusses first the theory behind the study of rhetoric starting with the Greeks and Romans and moving to modern and contemporary employment of rhetoric in Russian literature and military pronouncements, the use of rhetoric by King Henri III of France to create an image of strength and even the way that rhetoric is used by people opposed to it. The second half of the book treats rhetoric used for religious purposes. Some give a general summary of the topic, others focus on specific instances: the writings of Benedictine monks, oath taking, the oblique influence of Buddhist tales on Christian stories, the gods in classical rhetorical discourse, Biblical interpretations and preaching. The contemporary health of rhetoric is stressed in the final essays, on the use of political rhetoric in the liberation theology of Poland in the 1980s and the parliamentary debates on religion in 2005 Bulgaria. The work demonstrates the viability of the study of rhetoric as an essential part of any historical or political inquiry. Articles are in French, English, German, Spanish and Italian. Distributed in North America by the David Brown Book Co. Annotation ©2010 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

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