The function of paratext in rhetorical prose (illustrated with Jan Śniadecki’s writings) Cover Image

Funkcja paratekstu w prozie retorycznej (na przy- kładzie pism Jana Śniadeckiego)
The function of paratext in rhetorical prose (illustrated with Jan Śniadecki’s writings)

Author(s): Magdalena Smoleń-Wawrzusiszyn
Subject(s): Studies of Literature, Rhetoric
Published by: Officina Simonidis. Wydawnictwo Państwowej Wyższej Szkoły Zawodowej im. Sz. Szymonowica w Zamościu
Keywords: Paratext; rhetorical prose; persuasive function;

Summary/Abstract: The paratextuality is one of the transtextual relations distinguished in Gerard Genette’s typology. This relation is considered to be one of the most privileged area of pragmatic dimension of the work and its influence on the reader. According to Genette’s theory, paratexts are thought to be texts which surround a central text, i.e. titles, subtitles, intertitles, introductions, prefaces, editorial remarks etc. The article undertakes problems concerning functions of paratextual elements in the rhetorical prose as oriented to influence persuasively. As the research material there are taken journalistic writings and orations (i.e. applied rhetorical prose) of Jan Śniadecki – an outstanding representative of intellectual and cultural life at the turn of eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The analyzed paratextual units of texts (titles, subtitles, intertitles, and prefaces) enabled to observe that those units make a significant space in constructing rhetorical utterances – they introduce the reader into an atmosphere of rhetorical persuasion, and announce a tone and quality of discourse (polemicity, instructiveness, emotionality, and suggestiveness), as well as they signal persuasive strategies chosen by the author to realize aims of his utterances (e.g. self-creation of the sender through a topos of modesty, arguments appealing to experience and attitude of care).

  • Issue Year: 1/2008
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 303-312
  • Page Count: 10
  • Language: Polish