Tag Archives: rhetoric

The Language of Gesture and the Moving Image

Representing speech by graphic means is something we humans have been doing for some 5000 years. This text is “what I’m saying”, captured in writing.

Of course, I have never really said this, never spoken these words. This text is born in writing. Like most written texts, it is a simulation of speech that awaits its realization in the reader’s imagination. In yours.

Continue reading

Advertisements

The Wötzel Puzzle

The word ‘declamation’ is likely to evoke negative associations — pompousness and a swollen tone. It was no different two centuries ago. At least in the German-speaking world, where, despite a widespread anti-declamatory prejudice (or sensible aversion) declamation as a stage art boomed around 1800.

This has been the subject of my research of the past few months. And that’s how I came across Dr. J.C. Wötzel’s Outline of a General and Comprehensible Doctrinal Edifice or System of Declamation (1814). It took me some time to get through its 840 pages even in hop-skip-and-jump fashion. For Wötzel uses three words were anybody else would use one.

Continue reading