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Aristotle: The Written And The Performative Styles

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Chapter Summary

In this chapter, the author aims to explore ways in which the relationship between speech and text, the oral/performed and the written/read, underpins the distinctions Aristotle draws in terms of genre and style. The author returns to the advice on clarity in 3.2, to look for evidence on how the written style will have that bare minimum requirement of good communication, and then moves to consider the appropriate embellishment that will make it good style. The author wants to draw attention to is the existence of a culture where oratorical texts have a literary status. He also examines the two styles that Aristotle recognised as arising from that distinction between text and performance, and the resulting styles suitable for the three genres of oratory. The author emphasises in particular the importance he gave to the clear articulation of sense-units, and the link between the written style and periodic sentence-structure.

Keywords: Aristotle; oratorical texts; performative style; periodic sentence-structure; written style



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