The classical theory of rhetoric

A pedantic distinction between rhetoric and oratory is that the former is concerned with the theory of writing speeches, while the latter focuses on speeches as performative acts. The division is artificial and misleading. The distinction is one of etymology (the Greek rhetor vs the Latin orator), and is not one that the classics, whoContinue reading “The classical theory of rhetoric”

Language acquisition

It has often been said that the childhood is a creation of the modern period. Indeed, ancient and medieval sources occlude discussions of the first age of the human individual, the baby and toddler years. Premodern representations of children emphasise size, rather than any other features, to designate youngsters. From the baby in the cradleContinue reading “Language acquisition”

The postmodernist vision of history through Baudelaire’s ‘Le Charogne’ (I)

Having recently read Gabrielle Spiegel’s The Past as text, I realised how important it is to reflect on the articulation of text and reality. The more recent poststructuralist views that everything is textuality may ultimately be a foolish experiment, but it has the potential to cast light on some of the problems arising from the attemptContinue reading “The postmodernist vision of history through Baudelaire’s ‘Le Charogne’ (I)”