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November 2021

Magic, mimesis, and revolutionary praxis: Illuminating Walter Benjamin's rhetoric of redemption

Journal/Book: West J Comm. 2000; 64: Univ Utah, Communication Dept, Salt Lake City, UT 84112, USA. Western States Communication Assoc. 285-307.

Abstract: This essay illuminates the rhetorical contributions of Walter Benjamin, a critical intellectual whose insights about the liberatory role of the engaged social agent warrant closer attention in our discipline. In his written discourse, Benjamin attempted to develop a powerful means of social critique, the ethos of which I argue is propelled by a revolutionary rhetoric of redemption. Infusing a radical Messianic vision of a return to wholeness and purity with a concern for the living, breathing, historically situated actor, Benjamin made a unique case for the decisive function of critical intervention. As a forerunner to contemporary critical rhetorical studies, his ideas provide fruitful avenues for examining contemporary texts and rhetorical issues.

Note: Article DeChaine DR, Claremont Grad Univ, Dept Cultural Studies, Claremont,CA USA


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