Orality and Literacy: The Technologizing of the Word

Orality and Literacy: The Technologizing of the Word

Orality and Literacy: The Technologizing of the Word

Orality and Literacy: The Technologizing of the Word

Synopsis

Is it possible that changes in rhetorical practice could alter not just how thought is expressed, but also how it is made? Through a close stylistic and rhetorical analysis of contemporary feminist writing - from the cultural theory of Judith Butler to the popular journalism of Naomi Wolf and Germaine Greer - Lynne Pearce demonstrates how feminist thought is created as well as communicated through the frameworks in which it is presented. By linking rhetorical innovation with feminist epistemology in such a direct way, this is a book that will be of immense methodological as well as theoretical interest to readers, providing valuable insight into the often mysterious processes of conception and composition.

Excerpt

No doubt a third General Editor’s Preface to New Accents seems hard to justify. What is there left to say? Twenty-five years ago, the series began with a very clear purpose. Its major concern was the newly perplexed world of academic literary studies, where hectic monsters called ‘Theory’, ‘Linguistics’ and ‘Politics’ ranged. in particular, it aimed itself at those undergraduates or beginning postgraduate students who were either learning to come to terms with the new developments or were being sternly warned against them.

New Accents deliberately took sides. Thus the first Preface spoke darkly, in 1977, of ‘a time of rapid and radical social change’, of the ‘erosion of the assumptions and presuppositions’ central to the study of literature. ‘Modes and categories inherited from the past’ it announced, ‘no longer seem to fit the reality experienced by a new generation’. the aim of each volume would be to ‘encourage rather than resist the process of change’ by combining nuts-and-bolts exposition of new ideas with clear and detailed explanation of related conceptual developments. If mystification (or downright demonization) was the enemy, lucidity (with a nod to the compromises inevitably at stake there) became a friend. If a ‘distinctive discourse of the future’ beckoned, we wanted at least to be able to understand it.

With the apocalypse duly noted, the second Preface proceeded

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