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Studies in Rhetoric and Culture
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Chiasmus and Culture
Edited by Boris Wiseman and Anthony Paul
264 pages, 12 illus. & figs, bibliog., index
ISBN 978-0-85745-960-2 $135.00/£99.00 Hb Published (March 2014)
eISBN 978-0-85745-961-9 eBook
“This book makes a timely, original, and significant contribution to the study of rhetoric and culture. More specifically, this collection offers a sophisticated and wide-ranging analysis of chiasmus as a crucially important (but hitherto neglected) figure of speech and thought.” · Michael MacDonald, University of Waterloo
“This is a great collection of texts written in the Rhetoric Culture paradigm covering historical as well as cultural diversity, each approaching the topic of chiastic thought and action in its individual style, which will attract readers from a variety of disciplines and possibly provide a new and fruitful concept for academic thought and discussion.” · Christian Meyer, Martin Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg
Anyone who has heard of chiasmus is likely to think of it as no more than a piece of rhetorical playfulness, at times challenging, though useful for supplying a memorable sententious note or for performing a pirouette of syntax and thought. Going beyond traditional rhetoric, this volume is concerned with the possibility of using the figure of chiasmus to model a broad array of phenomena, from human relations to artistic creation. In the process, it provides the first book-length study not of chiasmus, the rhetorical figure, but of chiastic thought. The contributors are concerned with chiastic inversion and its place in social interactions, cultural creation, and more generally human thought and experience.They explore from a variety of angles what the unsettling logic of chiasmus (from the Greek meaning “cross-wise”), has to tell us about the world, human relations, cultural patterns, psychology, and artistic and poetic creation.
Boris Wiseman is Associate Professor of French and Francophone Studies at Copenhagen University. He is the author of Lévi-Strauss Anthropology and Aesthetics (2007) and has edited two collections of essays on Lévi-Strauss, a special issue of Les Temps modernes (2004) and the Cambridge Companion to Lévi-Strauss (2009) and co-edited a special issue of the journal Paragraph (2011) on French philosopher Claude Imbert. He has an interest in aesthetics and the senses and is currently working on the visual capture of movement, in particular in 19th century France.
Anthony Paul lectured on translation studies and English literature at the University of Amsterdam from 1972 to 2002. He is the author of The Torture of the Mind: Macbeth, Tragedy and Chiasmus (1992) and has published several works of literary fiction and translations. His latest novel, More than a Dream, has been published as an e-book (2013).
Subject: General Cultural Studies
Anthony Paul and Boris Wiseman
PART I: THE PATHOS OF CHIASMUS
Chapter 1. From stasis to ek-stasis: four types of chiasmus
Chapter 2. What is a Chiasmus? Or, Why the Abyss Stares Back
Chapter 3. Chiasmus and Metaphor
PART II: EPISTEMOLOGICAL REFLECTIONS ON CHIASMUS
Chapter 4. Chiasm in Merleau-Ponty, metaphor or concept?
Chapter 5. Chiasmi figuring difference
Chapter 6. Forking: Rhetoric χ Rhetoric
PART III: SENSUOUS EXPERIENCE MEDIATED BY CHIASMUS
Chapter 7. Chiasm in suspense in psychoanalysis
Chapter 8. Quotidian Chiasmus in Montaigne
Phillip John Usher
Chapter 9. 'Travestis, Michês' and Chiasmus
PART IV: CHIASTIC STRUCTURES IN RITUAL AND MYTHO-POETIC TEXTS
Chapter 10. Parallelism and Chiasmus in Ritual Oration
Chapter 11. Chiasmus, mythical creation and H.C. Andersen’s The Shadow followed by a “Response” from Lucien Scubla
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