Being Made Strange: Rhetoric Beyond Representation (Suny Series in Communication Studies)
By elaborating upon pivotal twentieth-century studies in language, representation, and subjectivity, Being Made Strange reorients the study of rhetoric according to the discursive formation of subjectivity. The author develops a theory of how rhetorical practices establish social, political, and ethical relations between self and other, individual and collectivity, good and evil, and past and present. He produces a novel methodology that analyzes not only what an individual says, but also the social, political, and ethical conditions that enable him or her to do so. This book also offers valuable ethical and political insights for the study of subjectivity in philosophy, cultural studies, and critical theory.
implicit paradoxes of its sustaining logic in order to question the normative values that its deﬁning categories engender. Derrida thus dismisses the possibilities of attack or destruction concerning the supposed end of metaphysics because the success of such efforts would require a rejection or transcendence of the means used to carry them out. Such a claim obligates one to question the longstanding agenda (whether The Subject and Object of Representation 33 that of Socrates and Plato or
of the ideal object or what have you)” (1974, 30). In sum, Saussure retains a representational understanding of parole: writing merely represents the more ideal and immediate meaning, object, or truth ﬁrst and most transparently presented in speech.10 Saussure’s conception of the qualitative difference between speech and writing reﬂects a long-standing preference in Western philosophy for the representation of ideal, original, or transparent meaning. Derrida notes that Saussure’s description of
notion of the rhetorical situation reﬂected Aristotle’s continuing inﬂuence on the ﬁeld. Bitzer’s now-canonical treatment of the topic attempted to discern the principles with which one could distinguish truly rhetorical situations from other types of social situations. The principle of urgency is especially pivotal in Bitzer’s theory; one’s rhetorical response to an exigence is more likely to be successful if offered without imprudent delay. Although Bitzer did not equate rhetoric explicitly
remembered for a collective frenzy in which diverse groups, from anarchists to paciﬁsts, were thrust together in a volatile climate of conﬂict and solidarity resulting from their common frustrations with representative politics. The politics of collective sentiment exhibited by such relations yield a variety of outcomes, from inclusion to exclusion, from tolerance to indifference, even violence. After deﬁning the sociopolitical value and signiﬁcance of these collective sentiments, how should one
rhetoric as such matters less than the social practices it enables. What Maffesoli calls the “interlocutive relation,” the “form of ‘we say’ ” invoked by this kind of rhetoric, retains greater signiﬁcance than “a preestablished meaning” (64)—in other words, the essential, supposedly immutable, meaning of self, community, or society. The manner in which group identities cohere or disperse according to an aggregation of symbols, rituals, or other aesthetic phenomena (according to Maffesoli’s “we