By Michael Hawcroft
Rhetoric is the art of persuasion, whether spoken or written. In the first chapter of Rhetoric: Readings in French Literature, Michael Hawcroft sets out its principles comprehensively and lucidly, providing an easily-consulted outline of key terms and a wide range of illustrative examples. Subsequent chapters explore rhetoric at work in different genres, via close reading of texts which range from the drama of Moli¿re, Racine, and Beckett; Montaigne, S¿vign¿, and Gide on the self; the prose fiction of Laclos, Zola, and Sarraute; poetry by D'Aubign¿, Baudelaire, and C¿saire; and the oratory of de Gaulle and Yourcenar. Rhetorical analysis uncovers subtleties and complexities in texts which emerge as exciting dramas of communication. This is at once a handbook of rhetoric and a guide to its application to French texts from the sixteenth century to the present.