The Wound and the Witness: The Rhetoric of Torture (Google eBook)

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SUNY Press, Jan 21, 2009 - Literary Criticism - 200 pages
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The Wound and the Witness offers a historically grounded approach to an urgent contemporary problem: the persistence of torture in Western culture. Drawing upon ancient Greek and Roman texts, as well as contemporary media events, Jennifer R. Ballengee explores the spectacle of torture as a persuasive device. She suggests that both torture and the witnessing of torture are forms of polemical writing, carried out on the body. The analysis combines close reading and philological study with a materialist cultural approach to ancient Greek theater, early Christian accounts of martyrdom, and recent political controversies over the interrogation tactics in the U.S. government-run Guantánamo and Abu Ghraib prisons. By incorporating key classical texts by Sophocles, Achilles Tatius, and Prudentius, the author demonstrates how deeply the ancient literature resonates with contemporary issues of the body, rhetoric, and the spectacle of pain.
  

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Contents

Introduction
1
The Symbolic Corpse in SophoclesOedipus at Colonus and Antigone
17
Pain and Punishment in SophoclesOedipus Rex and Oedipus at Colonus
41
Mutilation and Desire in Achilles Tatiuss Leukippe and Kleitophon
65
The Figure of Suffering in Prudentiuss Peristephanon Liber
91
PAIN AND PUBLIC OPINION The Rhetoric of Torture and the Media
127
Notes
145
Bibliography
175
Index
187
Copyright

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About the author (2009)

Jennifer R. Ballengee is Associate Professor of English and Director of Cultural Studies at Towson University.

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