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Matthew Kempshall

• 4 • Verisimilitude and truth In setting out the principles by which arguments could be found in order to construct a narrative of people and of events, classical manuals of rhetoric gave central importance to the criterion of verisimilitude. Quintilian may have disagreed with those who thought that the sole concern of the orator was verisimilitude,1 but otherwise medieval authors were presented with a very clear agenda: truth requires the art of rhetoric in order to make it plaus­ ible or convincing, in order to give it the appearance or simili­tude of

in Rhetoric and the writing of history, 400 –1500

This book provides an analytical overview of the vast range of historiography which was produced in western Europe over a thousand-year period between c.400 and c.1500. It focuses on the centrality of certain basic principles of rhetoric to the writing of history, and the relationship between the methodology of non-Christian and Christian historiography. The book first locates the writing of history in the Middle Ages at the confluence of three major historiographical traditions such as the classical, the biblical and the chronographic. Then, it introduces a fourth - rhetoric - and its contents are accordingly determined by the traditional division of rhetoric into its three fundamental categories: demonstrative or epideictic rhetoric; judicial or forensic rhetoric; and deliberative rhetoric. There is variation between each of these categories in terms of both approach and emphasis but all three of these forms of rhetoric still have fundamental elements in common. In particular, all three categories divide the subject-matter of a speech or text into five constituent elements: invention or inventio; arrangement or dispositio; style or elocutio; memory or memoria; and delivery or pronuntiatio. It is the first three of these five elements (inventio, dispositio and elocutio) which form the basis for defining the methodology of medieval historiography as a relationship between verisimilitude and truth. The book is intended to serve as a practical guide to some of the more important methodological principles which informed medieval historiography. It also provides a (necessarily) selective index to some of the more specialised modern commentary and scholarship.

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Series: Beginnings
Author: Steven Earnshaw

Terms used to describe artistic practices have different meanings from their common usage, but 'realism' as an aesthetic idea cannot be too far removed from the way we would talk about something 'real'. This book explores the artistry and aesthetics of realist literature, along with the assumptions of realist literature. It examines the different ways in which theorists, critics and philosophers conceptualise 'realism'. The book argues that a 'realist' sensibility is the ground on which other modes of literature often exist. It considers verisimilitude that is associated with the complexity of realism, describing the use of realism in two ways: capital 'R' and small 'r'. A set of realist novels is used to explore preliminary definition of realism. The STOP and THINK section lists some points to consider when thinking about realist works. The book looks at the characteristics of the Realist novel. It deals with the objections raised in discussions of Realism, from the Realist period and twentieth- and twenty-first century criticisms. The book provides information on the novel genre, language that characterises Realism, and selection of novel material. It looks at crucial elements such as stage design, and a technical feature often overlooked, the aside, something which seems non-realistic, and which might offer another view on Realism. The book talks about some writers who straddled both periods from the 1880s and 1890s onwards, until the 1920s/1930s, gradually moved away from Realism to modernism. Literary realism, and Aristotle's and Plato's works in relation to realism are also discussed.

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Authors: Fergus Daly and Garin Dowd

Leos Carax's early career was in two complementary ways conducted under the scrutiny of the French film journal Cahiers du Cinéma. In his 1999 television interview with Pierre-André Boutang, Carax touches on many of the qualities of a still developing personal mythology. Carax's first finished film, Strangulation Blues is in the director's own words the student film he never made. The 'autistic' part of 'autistebavarde' as this persona populates the films of Carax must be differentiated from this metaphorical usage. The typology developed by Carax contributes to the characters' withdrawal from verisimilitude; they are presented to us less as formed, reified types, or exemplars than as 'supple individuals'. This book performs a minute dissection of the heterogeneous elements shaped by Leos Carax into works of great complexity and élan in order to isolate the true singularity and originality of his 1980s films, Boy Meets Girl and Mauvais Sang. The haste with which Carax's overbudget film of 1990, Les Amants du Pont-Neuf has been categorised and in certain quarters thereby dismissed, combined with the spectacular budget catastrophe and the myths developed around the on-set events, contributed to a widespread misunderstanding of the film, as well as to a certain blindness among critics as to the merits. The title of Leos Carax's Pola X was an acronym of the title in French of Herman Melville's novel of 1852, Pierre, or The Ambiguities, that is, Pierre, ou les ambiguïtés.

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Matthew Kempshall

by which any narrative could, and should, be defined – brevity, lucidity and what was termed plausibility or verisimilitude. Brevity and lucidity did what they said in the handbooks. Plausibility, however, was epistemologically and stylistically more complex. Verisimilitude was effected, first and foremost, through invention, that is, through finding the right argument for the point being made, be it specific to the case in question or one which was typical or commonplace to the sort of situation under discussion. What is appropriate for a narrative of events will

in Rhetoric and the writing of history, 400 –1500
Andrew B. R. Elliott

associated with bodily affect ( 1991 : 4) – then it logically follows that the feeling of being overwhelmed by spectacular effects serves to evoke a bodily reaction of appreciation. Yet, contrarily, the seamlessness and verisimilitude is designed to encourage immersion and resignation to allow the underpinning historical/mythical message to emerge. So if this first point is correct, that effects in the epic film serve two competing but complementary functions, then logic dictates that they might also provoke two different reactions among the viewers. Sean Cubitt talks of

in The Bible onscreen in the new millennium
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Steven Earnshaw

treats as ushering in a new type of realism. Yet Woolf’s work is usually regarded, as are many other works of modernism, as being ‘anti-realist’ and falling within the ‘difficult to read’ bracket. We discuss this in Chapter 6 , on modernism, but for now we shall stick with the more traditional views of realism before subjecting it to other critiques. As a way of thinking about the complexity of realism let us consider a term that is often associated with it: ‘verisimilitude’. This describes something that appears to be true or real, something that has the appearance

in Beginning realism
Matthew Kempshall

defining the exact nature of the relation­ship between historiography, rhetoric and poetry. Discussion of this relationship came to focus on the nature and function of the concept of verisimilitude and, in particular, on its clear suggestion that this particular aspect of narrative constituted a form of writing which could comprise material that had been made up (ficta). As a consequence, the nature of what was actually denoted by the terms fingere and fictio became subject to increasingly precise and extensive discussion.7 7  For what follows, see P. Nykrog, ‘The Rise

in Rhetoric and the writing of history, 400 –1500
Sylvie Mikowski

art to unveil and give access to essential truths about people and life in general. In other words, the centrality of objects in Madden’s works stems not only from a desire to conform to the codes of realism and verisimilitude. It also has to do with her interrogation of the creative process, and the role played by objects – those observed and those produced – in this process

in Deirdre Madden
Frederick H. White

performance is a way of interacting with madness in an attempt to hide its effects from the public, because there exists the threat of incarceration for those deemed abnormal or dangerous (including the insane), therefore verisimilitude (giving a truth that the public wants to see) is necessary to avoid the stigma of madness. Institutional spaces: prisons Andreev bought a plot of land near the Finnish fishing village of Vammelsuu in the summer of 1907. He then bought many of the adjacent fields, eventually owning nearly fifteen hectares, or thirty-seven acres, of land. Here

in Degeneration, decadence and disease in the Russian fin de siècle