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Rhetoric And Literature

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Chapter Summary

This part first discusses decline of rhetoric and its revival. In 1960 an encyclopaedic work appeared in Munich which still occupies the minds of literary scholars, though in practice rather than in theory: Heinrich Lausberg's (1912-1992) Handbook of Literary Rhetoric. Immediately after its publication it provoked a large number of critical responses, mostly negative ones. In the 18th and 19th centuries the standards for a new relationship between poetry and rhetoric were set by Idealism, Classicism and Romanticism. All publications dealing with literary rhetoric tacitly proceed from the premise that the corresponding subject of rhetorical literature does indeed exist. The geographical and historical dissemination of rhetorical literature followed the paths of translatio studii. The part then discusses the theory of rhetorical literature and of rhetoricity in literature respectively. It finally presents a short, but critical survey that deals with rhetorical positivism, structuralism, and Post-structuralism.

Keywords: literature; rhetoric; rhetorical positivism; structuralism

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