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An Ideal Critic

Ciceronian Rhetoric and Contemporary Criticism

K. Hvidtfelt Nielsen

The book argues and exemplifies the replacement of philosophy by rhetoric as the more rewarding speech genre for discussing theoretical beliefs. The rhetorical writings of Cicero and Quintilian are carefully sifted and re-organized so as to provide the literary critic with a vocabulary (topicality) for translating recent debates among hermeneutists, speech act theorists, and post-structuralists (Foucault, Bakhtin, Gadamer, Vattimo, Searle, Derrida, and Bloom) into a performative canon of criticism.
Contents: On the silly speaker, or the impossibility of theory - On the ars of the rhetorical critic, on the genus of his métier, on the three officia of his work - On the perfect speaker, or the impossibility of being a complete critic.