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ERIC Number: ED357379
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1993-Mar
Pages: 7
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
"Verbal Atom Cracking": Burke and a Rhetoric of Reading.
Enos, Theresa
"Verbal atom cracking," according to Kenneth Burke, entails a process where the reader reconstructs what the writer has constructed--a necessary process before the reader can begin deconstructing. Foregrounding opposites, rather than looking for apposites, may not be the best way to approach discourse that covers especially esoteric interdisciplinary territory. Looking for apposites involves "seeing from two angles at once"; thus all perspectives are incongruent. In rhetorical analysis, all elements are interconnected by the key word in Burke's system: identification. Reconstructing means searching for identifiable cues to the writer's motives. These are usually found by analyzing the form of a text. Burke discusses five aspects of form as: (1) progressive; (2) repetitive; (3) conventional; (4) minor or incidental; and (5) interrelational or overlapping. By identifying a variety of clusters by "reconstructing" them, the reader achieves textual identification. To find clusters, Burke says readers must look for "looping curves." These might take the form of key metaphors or representative anecdotes. Learning to revel in revision through reading, to see at various angles, to see that language functions by hierarchizing sets of terms, to see how both writers and readers idealize some categories and debunk others is a way of beginning to think, read, and perhaps write in terms of apposition rather than opposition. This is an effective way to approach teaching a seminar in rhetoric. (SAM)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A