Critical and Cultural Theory: Thematic Variations by Dani Cavallaro

By Dani Cavallaro

This radical, new e-book brings jointly the most important techniques, matters and debates in serious and cultural idea this day. each one bankruptcy offers a self-contained research of every suggestion besides supplying various dialogue questions and extra examining. all through, text-links attach similar fabric throughout chapters, permitting the reader to pursue their very own line of disciplinary or cross-disciplinary inquiry.

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This is because real occurrences are shaped, in their recording, by dominant systems of values that foreground certain elements and marginalize or repress others. We should therefore realize that 'there is not one single history . . but rather histories' (Derrida 1981: 58). In arguing that everything is a text, that texts are self-dismantling, and that approaches to identity, reality and history leave much unsaid, deconstruction points to the idea that rhetoric pervades language and the cultural structures based upon it.

Rhetoric's rubber resilience cannot, however, be explained simply as a concomitant of its invaluable ideological function. In fact, it has to do with the fact that rhetoric inhabits language in all its manifestations and that, insofar as language constructs reality, without rhetoric there may be no reality for us to speak or write about. Language, as we have seen, displaces reality by substituting disembodied and conventional signs for concrete objects. Rhetoric throws this process of displacement into relief by overtly capitalizing on tropes', strategies which (as indicated by the etymology of this word) turn something into something else.

Formalism was primarily concerned with literariness: that is, with isolating the specific devices that make a particular work a literary work. Texts are autonomous and material entities: they should not be regarded as embodiments of abstract ideas or reflections of a social environment. In divorcing literature from politics, Formalism entered into conflict with Marxist theories according to which all ideological products result from social and economic relations and texts can be read as reflections of a cultural reality.

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