Friday, 25 May 2007

Rhetoric

The notion of rhetoric keeps raising it's head.
Rhetoric is the art of finding and employing the most effective means of persuasion on any subject, considered independently of intellectual mastery of that subject. Booth, The Rhetorical Stance.
Considered in relation to Safran Foer's assertion: “Most of what I do in my books I do exactly because I can’t explain in any other way.” (Gerber & Triggs 2006) Are there elements of narrative that are more persuasively articulated through visuals? Consider the 'flip book' ending of Safran Foer's book Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, where a man's body floats back up to the top of the Twin Towers, 'reversing the tragedy' – this technique asks a rhetorical question (what if?) in a visual way. Is this appropriate because, for so many of us, the experience of the S11 attack on the World Trade Centre was primarily a visual one, through television and the internet? If contemporary experience of current affairs (tv news, papers, websites) and entertainment (films, television, games) occurs through visual media, is the way we reflect on these experiences going to increasingly involve visual rhetoric?

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