Sunday, May 18, 2008

not 200 words: A Blurbing

English translators of Aristotle’s Rhetoric have too closely followed his intentions. Aristotle’s intentions, it could be easily argued, are phallo-logo-centric. (That is, Aristotle aims [a] to write for his male-only pupils in the Academy where females are explicitly denigrated; [b] to use binary syllogistic logic to define and to classify objectively the subjects observed in nature; and [c] narrowly to prescribe an elite Greek discourse.) However, despite the clear purposes, Aristotle cannot avoid (a) using feminine discourse in his treatise where he must also praise exemplary women; (b) defaulting to the ambiguous undefined and undefining “polymorphic,” which Nancy Mairs calls, “a world in which the differentiation of self from other may never completely take place, in which multiple selves may engage multiply with the multiple desires of the creatures in it”; and (c) writing in very common language. Hence, following Aristotle’s practices, my feminist translating of his Rhetoric is womanly, speakeresque, and accessible to Hellene women and ordinary men and to barbarians in their mother tongue.



Nathan Stitt said...

In your haste it appears you've omitted the publication date.

J. K. Gayle said...

Good question, Nathan. Hoping to finish the diss, to defend it, by December. Not sure I hope ever to see it published.