Brooke, Chapter 3, and Whaaaat?

Herma-what? Pro-pro-a-proairerer…something. My difficultly in being able to pronounce hermeneutic and proairetic aside, I am still struggling to feel like I really know what they mean; I don’t think I could craft a sentence using them correctly. Which I suppose fits in with what Brooke quotes LeFevre on in chapter three of Lingua Fracta; because my audience is part of my invention process (65), I refrain from inventing at all!

Yes, I see now that isn’t it all. So, basically chapter three was especially hard for me to understand.

This surprised me because I did my (now) usually pre-reading googling and found this video explaining things in a straightforward way: And Preface, chapters one and two were fairly straightforward, although still interesting for me; I was never formally taught Aristotle rhetorical analysis until my junior year of undergraduate and we did ethos, pathos, logos, not the five canons. I also had the good fortune of getting to sit in on a fifty-minute Skype/webinar with Yancey, so, bring it on! I thought to myself that is.

I keep seeing the word ‘hermeneutic’ and have looked up already, but as it clearly hadn’t sunk in yet, I looked it up again like a good graduate student. [incendentially, I recommend over merriam-webster – compare definitions: hermeneutic vs. hermeneutic. From August 19, 2013 to present, I have looked up and added approximately seventy words to my “Vocab I learned in Grad School word doc.] Proairesis proved more difficult and does not come up in either dictionary. Kairos summarizes chapter three: and Purdue describes both terms, identifying the culprit (Barthes) in their confusing existence at all. Actually, that’s not completely accurate as proairesis, with it’s excessive amount of vowels is from Greek philosophy (a super old term, as Kairos notes) and I found proairesis in a new online dictionary that I hadn’t found yet. This (boring) process aside, I think I finally started to understand the terms better after a pint at Rico’s and a colleague and third-year ph.d explained the terms to me in at least two different ways.

Understanding this is pretty important as it is all throughout chapter three. Another element that hindered my comprehension that I didn’t realize until rereading chapter three was that Brook spends a fair amount of time recounting ideas that he either partially or entirely disagrees with but without prefacing that so you have to switch gears pretty rapidly with them as he writes all the ideas and then counters said ideas, beginning with the end of the chapter introduction or first section: “In the context of Barthes’ analysis, the hermeneutic and proairetic codes complement one another, as they must necessarily do to produce a satisfying textual object. However, when we shift our attention to interfaces, I would argue that proairesis takes precedence under certain circumstances, and that it is this type of invention that our discipline must account for as it considers new media” (63). Remember also, that he acknowledges that it’s difficult to talk/type/consider new media because there is not a consensus for what exactly the definition of new media is.

Brooke walks through LeFevre, Barwashi and Dewitt with concepts of audience in the invention or a ‘networked’ audience, rhetorical ecosystems, genres as structures and more words for my vocab document: synchronically and diachronically which according to Google, frequently come as a pair. And while Brooke values their views, thus including them, saying, “the three contribute[s] valuable insights to our discussion of invention that need not be forgotten in a discussion of new media, only augmented.” These three don’t quite do the trick for him, however, because they are striving toward the basic goal of theorizing about a finish product that isn’t going to continue evolving (unlike a wikipage or a sandbox game like Minecraft, say).

Hey, I think I maybe get this now! It’s too bad that hypertext or ‘new media’ don’t get academic respect. But there is a part of me that wonders if that is ever possible, academia would have to alter hundreds of years of a way of doing things in order to meet new media with ‘legitimacy’ in such a way that it wouldn’t compromise or alter new media. Though, I suppose new media is all right with evolving. One thing for sure is I seem to learn best by doing or remediating an idea.