Rhetoric beyond Words: Delight and Persuasion in the Arts of the Middle Ages (Cambridge Studies in Medieval Literature)

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9780521515306: Rhetoric beyond Words: Delight and Persuasion in the Arts of the Middle Ages (Cambridge Studies in Medieval Literature)

In the Middle Ages, liturgies, books, song, architecture and poetry were performed as collaborative activities in which performers and audience together realized their work anew. Essays by leading scholars analyse how the medieval arts invited and delighted in collaborative performances designed to persuade. The essays cast fresh light on subjects ranging from pilgrim processions within Chartres Cathedral, to polyphonic song, and the 'rhetoric of silence' perfected by the Cistercians. Rhetoric is defined broadly in this book to encompass its relationship to its sister arts of music, architecture, and painting, all of which use materials and media in addition to words, sometimes altogether without words. Contributors have concentrated on those aspects of formal rhetoric that are performative in nature, the sound, gesture, and facial expressions of persuasive speech in action. Delivery (performance) is shown to be at the heart of rhetoric, that aspect of it which is indeed beyond words.

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Book Description:

Eleven essays by leading scholars of music, liturgy, literature, manuscript production, and architecture analyse how the medieval arts invited collaborative performances designed to persuade. Using concepts derived from rhetoric to analyse specific examples, the essays show the immense power of those forms of rhetoric which are 'beyond words'.

About the Author:

Mary Carruthers is Remarque Professor of Literature, New York University, and a Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford.

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