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FlirtationsRhetoric and Aesthetics This Side of Seduction$
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Daniel Hoffman-Schwartz, Barbara Natalie Nagel, and Lauren Shizuko Stone

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780823264896

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823264896.001.0001

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“Almost Nothing; Almost Everything”

“Almost Nothing; Almost Everything”

An Introduction to the Discourse of Flirtation

(p.1) “Almost Nothing; Almost Everything”

Daniel Hoffman-Schwartz

Barbara Natalie Nagel

Lauren Shizuko Stone

Fordham University Press

This chapter provides an overview of the book's main theme, namely to address the relatively undertheorized terrain of flirtation not as a subgenre of seduction but as a system in its own right. Indeed, in historical terms the particular question of flirtation has tended to be obscured by that of seduction, which has it seems been a major preoccupation for twentieth-century thought and critical theory. The discourse of seduction and the critique of seduction come together through their shared obsession with a very determinate end. This ends is called power. Flirtation, however, is a game in which there is no winner and no participant surrenders. The chapters here provide an account of the practice of flirtation and of the figure of the flirt as seen through the lenses of aesthetics and literary theory, exploring flirtation's involvement with issues of mimesis, poetic ambiguity, and indeed something akin to aesthetic pleasure. In keeping with the dialogue-like structure of flirtation, this anthology gathers six pairs of scholars, one to deliver an essay on the topic, one to respond freely.

Keywords:   flirtation, seduction, aesthetics, literary, mimesis, poetic ambiguity, literary self-reflection

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