chapter  1
32 Pages

The Heritage School of Classical Rhetoric in the United States

The reassertion of orality in the twentieth century in the form of the electronic media-a phenomenon that Eric A. Havelock describes as "the reawakening of the oral spell after a long silence"1 - makes the study of the inclusive theories of classical rhetoric even more pressing than it was, say, in the early nineteenth century before the large changes in consciousness and culture brought about first by the telegraph, then by film, video, computers, and other electronic forms of discourse. Realizing the verbal relationships between the two realms allows us to understand all language and eventually all symbol systems-including the electronic ones-more effectively. Perhaps most significantly, clas-

sical rhetoric provides a means for individual production of discourse in speaking, in print, and in electronic form.