By Daniel Hoffman-Schwartz
What is flirtation, and the way does it fluctuate from seduction?
In historic phrases, the actual query of flirtation has tended to be obscured via that of seduction, which has understandably been a huge preoccupation for twentieth-century inspiration and significant concept. either the discourse and the critique of seduction are unified via their shared obsession with a really determinate finish: strength. against this, flirtation is the sport during which not anyone turns out to achieve the higher hand and not anyone turns out to surrender. The counter-concept of flirtation has hence stood quietly to the aspect, by no means relatively attaining an analogous prominence as that of seduction. It is that this elusive (and principally missed) territory of enjoying for play's sake that's the topic of this anthology.
The essays during this quantity deal with the under-theorized terrain of flirtation now not as a subgenre of seduction yet fairly as a phenomenon in its personal correct. Drawing at the interdisciplinary heritage of scholarship on flirtation while it re-approaches the query from a notably aesthetic and literary-theoretical standpoint, the individuals to Flirtations thus give an account of the perform of flirtation and of the determine of the flirt, taking on the act's courting to problems with mimesis, poetic ambiguity, and aesthetic pleasure. The paintings of this poetic playfulness-often learn or misinterpret as flirtation's "empty gesture"-becomes abruptly legible because the wielding of a specific and sophisticated kind of nonteleological power.
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Extra info for Flirtations : rhetoric and aesthetics this side of seduction
And in this systemic relationship of the two agonistic genres with the genre of praise and blame we recognize a foreshadowing of the future, transrhetorical, relation between rhetoric and literature. Providing more evidence for this claim is the goal of the rest of this paper. In Aristotle’s account the famous triad of the juridical, the deliberative (political), and the epideictic genres is instituted for centuries to come. The epideictic form is eccentric vis-à-vis the triadic whole of rhetorical genres under a number of rubrics, and yet it is only through its being added to juridical speech and speech at the agora that a system of rhetorical technicality can be formulated in the first place.
One cannot say THE ART OF FLIRTATION 23 the same about flirtation, which is less lexical (it is not a semantic field) and more gestural. In other words, flirtation is less about language, about saying, and is more concerned with gestures as a particular form of actio in distans. The quintessential gesture of flirtation is the view askance, always at a remove, ideally from across the room. If the lover looks deep into the beloved’s eyes, holding and fixing the gaze, the flirtatious glance is half turned away, its object uncertain, its duration often the blink of an eye.
20 The emphasis in this section of the Art of Rhetoric resides in the seemingly oblique juxtaposition of written style and agon-related style. Writing and reading are not so much seen as medial forms that are different from oral delivery or extemporization, nor are agon and the placid pleasure of being a spectator pitched directly against each other. Rather it is the agon—which happens to require orality—that is juxtaposed with writing and reading, which, for their part, exclude any agon and favor mere pleasure.
Flirtations : rhetoric and aesthetics this side of seduction by Daniel Hoffman-Schwartz