chapter  1
Memory Issues in Composition Studies
Pages 16

If the five-part construct at the core of the body of work called "classical rhetoric" is not the most essential feature of "the most complete critical system that has ever been devised for the analysis and production of discourse" (Welch, "Classical" 3), then certainly it is the most tenacious. For nearly 2,500 years it has survived attacks and misrepresentations, accomodated the views of the strictest constructionists and most liberal interpreters, and managed to remain pertinent to Western rhetorical theory despite fundamental cultural transitions from orality to literacy to electronic technology. On this an unusually wide range of scholars seem to agree.