Rhetoric, Romance, and Technology
Studies in the Interaction of Expression and CultureeBook - 1971
This collection of essays by Walter J. Ong focuses on the complex and dynamic relationship between verbal performance and cultural evolution. By studying the history of rhetoric and related arts from classical antiquity through the age of romanticism to the modern period, Ong both illuminates the past and helps explain late-twentieth-century modes of expression.
Elegantly written and wide ranging, Rhetoric, Romance, and Technology traces the evolution of devices used to store, retrieve, and communicate knowledge. Ong discusses diverse topics including memory as art, associationist critical theory, the close relationship between romanticism and technology, and the popular culture of the 1970s. This book also contains essays about Tudor writings in English on rhetoric and literary theory, the study of Latin as a Renaissance puberty rite, Ramism in the classroom and in commerce, Jonathan Swift's notion of the mind, and John Stuart Mill's politics.
This is not a book on rhetoric in any narrow sense, but rather concerns its general ambiance and also some of its quite specific manifestations. The thirteen chapters that comprise the book move chronologically from the Renaissance up to the present time.