chapter  9
13 Pages

Rhetoric and Poetics: The Place of Literature

What can rhetoric offer poetics and literary studies? What place do they have in a theory of contemporary rhetoric? Rhetoricians have always been attracted to the field of poetics-the study of literary form and a close partner of stylistics-as the literary appears to hold a powerful place in human consciousness and in social disengagement: people are reading novels on the train, in isolation, in “their own world,” in cities-and reading them in books and on electronic tablet devices like Kindles and iPads. But although the literary appears to hold sway and to generate and satisfy private passions, it also maps out possible worlds and the consequences of action within those worlds.