Studies in the Rhetoric of Fiction

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Part 1 Introduction. Why a Theory of a Character? Part 2 PART 1. Approaches to Literary Characters Chapter 4 Chapter 2. From Hero to Character Chapter 5 Chapter 3. In Search of the Protagonist Chapter 6 Chapter 4. Collective Character Chapter 7 Chapter 5. Character and Plot Chapter 12 Chapter 9.

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Martin's Press. Retrieved 20 April The Rhetoric of Fiction. In: Critical Inquiry.

Difference Between Rhetorical Device and Figures of Speech

Archived from the original on 16 January Retrieved 1 December In: Arbeiten zu Anglistik und Amerikanistik. In: Narrative.


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    Table of Contents

    Extrapolation 48,1 : — Archived from the original on 28 September Retrieved 13 November Sad lad, or mad lad? The Independent. Archived from the original on 18 March Retrieved 21 March London Review of Books. Retrieved 21 April Archived from the original on 2 February Retrieved 28 January A Life at the Movies. Retrieved 26 March Future Publishing Limited.

    Retrieved 10 February Scarecrow Press. University of Michigan Press. University of Southern Denmark. We have not only seen the events from his perspective, but we have seen what he thinks happens.

    Film Journal International. Retrieved 3 July Retrieved 27 April But Elliot Alderson Rami Malek , the brilliant, socially maladjusted, mentally unstable, vigilante hacker at the center of the technologically complex and psychologically searing Mr. Robot, which airs, of all places, on the perpetually milquetoast USA Network, is an unreliable narrator in extremis.

    √ Biography, Essay, Rhetoric, Outdoor Literature - Critical and Close Studies - English

    The Daily Dot. Retrieved 31 January In Hutner, Gordon ed. The American Literary History Reader.

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    New York: Oxford University Press. CRC Press. The New York Times. Retrieved 7 June Archived from the original PDF on 18 May Retrieved 3 June The Times. Archived from the original on 7 January Oxonian Review of Books. Archived from the original on 4 April Womack, Kenneth; Baker, William eds. Peterborough, Ont. Retrieved 15 February USA Today. Retrieved 20 October Amulet Books. Enriched Classics. Simon and Schuster, University of Pennsylvania Press. Retrieved 27 November In other words, the author, reader and text cannot function without each other; therefore, criticism that dismisses any one member of this literary triumvirate creates a dysfunctional criticism.

    He critically inquires how these parts work together to create a coherent whole. This is a neo-Aristotelian method. The author chooses to construct implied authors and narrators that suit the purposes of the text in order to connect with a reading community.

    Although this sub-title appears to be privileging the author, the reader is always implicit. There is a difference between excluding a subject based on its estimated unimportance and focussing on a particular part of larger whole. The implied author is an integral part of the work. The needs of the work compel the author and reader to create an implied author. The actual feelings and values of the flesh-and-blood author cannot be known. However, the reader builds responses and attitudes, and assimilates information, about the implied author s.

    The implied author has values and is engaged with life. We cannot know the personal details of his or her social existence but in terms of ethical matters, the implied author speaks overtly or covertly. The implied author and the narrator are not to be confused, although the narrator and the implied author can converge in some cases. For this reason, Booth discusses the importance of examining how an author uses narration in each text. For example, distance is one of the most important aspects of the rhetoric of narration.

    Booth considers narration a rhetorical art. If the work can be considered a map with highways and byways of meaning and value, then the narrator is the navigator that directs the reader to different positions on the map. Booth delineates Jane Austen as a master of the discourse of narration. In the next section the role of narration as a moral compass is examined.

    The decisions we make as a reading community on what direction to follow, as well as how the author influences our decisions delineates our responsibilities as readers or authors.

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    They are even quite Boothian, although they might not acknowledge or be aware of the resemblances. When Booth refers to morals he does not mean it in the negative sense that the word has come to represent: a confining, puritanical categorization of good and bad. This habitus is always part of the reading process. Still, the basic premise is sound: we must make decisions about a text based on our value system. For Booth, impersonal narration disengages the narrator from leading the reader to a certain moral ground whatever that may be and this can be ethically suspect when that ground is a vicious marsh.

    The ambiguity and confusion of the narrator generally leads to a confused and ambiguous reader If we are credulous readers then we are in for serious problems while trying to decode the unreliable, impersonal narrator. Furthermore, Booth warns that we can build unwarranted sympathy for vicious narrators, and thereby for their values. Booth does not call for censorship. He advocates investigation to ask how and why this form of fiction has become so popular and respected, when the values reflected are so repugnant? Booth does not provide any viable answers for this question.

    Sometimes the reader is responsible for misunderstanding the goal of the text and so unjustly accuses the author of perversity or immorality. Satire and irony are commonly misread and blamed for pursuing bad ends. However, this does not answer how or why moral reprobates have become so common as the central intelligence of a text Hunter Thompson comes to mind here. Booth hints at an answer:. The author makes his readers. If he makes them badly — that is, if he simply waits, in all purity, for the occasional reader whose perceptions and norms happen to match his own, then his conception must be lofty indeed if we are to forgive him for his bad craftsmanship.

    But if he makes them well — that is, makes them see what they have never seen before, moves them into a new order of perception and experience altogether — he finds his reward in the peers he has created.


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    Booth is espousing the golden rule for authors and, to a certain extent readers. This is a unique piece of critical discourse.