The essays in this anthology approach literature as communicative structures dependent on media and on rhetorical and narrative modes. Ranging from ancient Greece to the present, the essays are preoccupied with the formal constructions of literature rather than conceptions of particular aesthetic experiences. The approach is similar to the deconstructionist criticism of especially romanticist metaphysics in regarding works of literature as essentially rhetorical artefacts. But unlike the attention towards the aporia of meaning and communicative breakdowns of deconstructivism, they rely on the reconstructive mapping of literary structures as the basis for understanding historical developments and changes in literature. Their investigations in rhetoric and narratology form the backbone in pragmatic arguments concerning the developments in literary history and question historically changeable understandings of literature as a privileged medium for expressing meaning.
Introduction; From Muthos to Pathosin Ancient Epic Poetry; Defending a New Genre; Natural Rhetoric in the 18th Century: A remark on the Reception of Cicero in Germany; What Happened to the Author? Modernist Impersonality and Authorial Selfhood; Woman as Cohesive Agent: Surrealist Perception and Montage as Reconstructive Strategy in Louis Aragon's 'Le paysan de Paris'; The Exact Human; Attention: Tender Tension; Mallarme's Poetic Letters: Typographic Constellations and Displaced Verse in Un coup de des; Narrative in a Nutshell: Epigrammatic Fragmentary Writing; A Sense of Closure: The State of Narration in Digital Literature.NER(01): GB IE