ERIC Number: ED254894
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1985-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Pietro Bembo and Standards for Oral and Written Discourse: The Forensic, Dialectical, and Vernacular Influences on Renaissance Thought.
Wiethoff, William E.
Traditional assumptions about oral and written discourse persist among various philosophers and critics. Careful examination of the context for traditional assumptions, however, suggests that current scholarship should pursue altered lines of inquiry. Peculiar influences on Renaissance standards of purpose, style, and theme illustrate the nature of the problem, especially the works of Pietro Bembo, a Renaissance humanist chancellor and religious administrator. First, his forensic priorities in the principles and practice of rhetoric focused critical attention on a limited setting and purpose of discourse. Second, although written communications were customarily designed for oral proclamation, Renaissance developments in dialectic stressed the written word and promoted practical training in communicative skills outside rhetorical studies. Third, the reassessment of literary standards in response to emerging vernacular discourse stigmatized the spoken word as inherently less significant than the written word. Drawing on the Renaissance thought expounded by Pietro Bembo, scholars may avoid the frustration that all too frequently accompanies inquiry into oral and written discourse by disclaiming generic distinctions. Instead, scholars should examine practical differences in purpose rather than distinctions in theme, as well as the potential sequential relationship of writing and speech rather than isolated mechanics of style. (HOD)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Bembo (Pietro); Speaking Writing Relationship
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Central States Speech Association (Indianapolis, IN, April 4-6, 1985).