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Rhetoric in Tooth and Claw : Animals, Language, Sensation (Hardcover) (Debra Hawhee)
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Bringing together classical rhetoric and the study of animals is not a trick for the faint-of-heart. Hawhee’s ambition and skill here are astonishingcombining illumination of major texts of the rhetorical tradition with attention to the way animals show up in these great books of Aristotle, Demetrius, Longinus, Erasmus, and others, to show that nonhuman animals have made themselves indispensable to theories of language and communication, to inquiry, and to arts of memory and philosophies of mind. Speech or reason (logos) has traditionally been the focus of rhetoric (the art of effective language use), but sensation, feeling, and emotion are just as importantand this is where animals enter in. In fact they enter in very frequently when discussion centers on the extra-rational, or nonrational, aspects of communication. Nonhuman animals serve in these texts at times as sensible objects, but in large part they enter rhetoric’s theories and treatises as moving, sensing creatures, as what Hawhee calls partners in feeling” to their human counterparts. She meanwhile explores the use rhetoricians have made of references to animals in beast fables, ecphrases (vivid descriptions), discussions of memory, and mock encomia. Animals may emerge through Hawhee’s account as partners in feeling, but they also function as emblems, and her attention to Renaissance emblems and its partner art, stylistic depiction, plays out some often intricate rhetorical resonances. This history of nonhuman animals in rhetoric retells that story, thus, as one animated by energy, force, liveliness, wondrous diversity, and astounding and often bloody violence, all at the behest of humans’ animal partners in feeling.
Number of Pages: 248
Genre: Language + Art + Disciplines, Literary Criticism, Philosophy
Publisher: Univ of Chicago Pr
Author: Debra Hawhee
Street Date: November 21, 2016
Item Number (DPCI): 248-22-2096
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