The Rhetoric of Sincerity

The Rhetoric of Sincerity


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In times of intercultural tensions and conflicts, sincerity matters. Traditionally, sincerity concerns a performance of authenticity and truth, a performance that in intercultural situations is easily misunderstood. Sincerity plays a major role in law, the arts—literature, but especially the visual and performing arts—and religion. Sincerity enters the English language in the sixteenth century, when theatre emerged as the dominant idiom of secular representation, during a time of major religious changes. The present historical moment has much in common with that era; with its religious and cultural conflicts and major transformations in representational idioms and media. The Rhetoric of Sincerity is concerned with the ways in which the performance of sincerity is culturally specific and is enacted in different media and disciplines. The book focuses on the theatricality of sincerity, its bodily, linguistic, and social performances, and the success or failure of such performances.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780804763028
Publisher: Stanford University Press
Publication date: 11/06/2008
Series: Cultural Memory in the Present
Edition description: 1
Pages: 352
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Ernst van Alphen is Professor of Literary Studies at Leiden University in the Netherlands. Mieke Bal is Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences Professor. She is based at the Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis, University of Amsterdam. Carel Smith is Associate Professor of Jurisprudence and director of the Meijers Research Institute in Law, both at Leiden University, The Netherlands.

Table of Contents

List of Contributors ix

Introduction Ernst van Alphen Mieke Bal 1

Part I Sincerity as Subjectivity Effect

1 "Why do you tear me from Myself?": Torture, Truth, and the Arts of the Counter-Reformation Jane Taylor 19

2 Melody and Monotone: Performing Sincerity in Republican France Katherine Bergeron 44

3 The Irreconcilability of Hypocrisy and Sincerity Frans-William Karsten 60

4 The Rhetoric of Justification: The Preponderance of Decisions over Rules Carel Smith 78

5 Must We (NOT) Mean What We Say? Seriousness and Sincerity in the Work of J. L. Austin and Stanley Cavell Hent de Vries 90

Part II Declining Sincerity

6 Can the Subaltern Confess? Pasolini, Gramsci, Foucault, and the Deployment of Sexuality Cesare Casarino 121

7 Like a Dog: Narrative and Confession in J.M. Coetzee's Disgrace and The Lives of Animals Yasco Horsman 144

8 Putting Sincerity to Work: Acquiescence and Refusal in Post-Fordist Art David Mcneill 157

9 When Sincerity Fails: Literatures of Migration and the Emblematic Labor of Personhood Leslie A. Adelson 174

Part III Sincerity As Media Effect

10 A Feeling of Insincerity: Politics, Ventriloquy, and the Dialectics of Gesture Jill Bennett 195

11 Derrida on Film: Staging Spectral Sincerity Michael Bachmann 214

12 Documenting September II: Trauma and the (Im)possibility of Sincerity Alison Young 230

13 Being Angela Merkel Maaike Bleeker 247

14 Saying Everything and Affected Self-Disclosure in the Works of Reinaldo Arenas and Herve Guibert Reindert Dhondt 263

Notes 283

Bibliography 305

Index 323

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