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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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Rhetoric’s Flirtation with Literature, from Gorgias to Aristotle

Rhetoric’s Flirtation with Literature, from Gorgias to Aristotle

The Epideictic Genre

(p.37) Rhetoric’s Flirtation with Literature, from Gorgias to Aristotle

Rüdiger Campe

Fordham University Press

Moving back to the beginnings of literature (and maybe to the beginnings of flirtation), this chapter describes the movement from rhetoric to poetry in Gorgias' Encomium of Helen as rhetoric's convergence or flirtation with literature. It presents the hypothesis that epideixis—the rhetorical genre of praise—functions as the aesthetic-literary moment within rhetoric. The analogy, however, as with every good metaphor, is informative only because praising beautiful bodies, brilliant deeds, and artful objects is of an erotic nature in itself and, as such, has been part of epideixis' own (pre)history. Even the analogy between rhetoric's relations to aesthetics and seduction's involvement with flirtation—the metaphorical value of flirtation—is, in the end, flirtatious.

Keywords:   literature, flirtation, rhetoric, poetry, Gorgias, Encomium of Helenm epideixis

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