The arrangement of letters: Hierarchy or culture? From Cicero to China

Thomas Andrew KIRKPATRICK

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In this article I first discuss a genre of writing, the Ars Dictaminis, which became popular in Europe from the 11th century and which flourished in the 12th and 13th centuries. In particular I consider the arrangement of letters as advised in Ars Dictaminis treatises and show its influence from Cicero. I then briefly review key tenets of Chinese rhetoric and compare the arrangement of Ars Dictaminis letters with the arrangement of Chinese letters of request recently written by Mainland Chinese. The remarkable similarities in the arrangement of these two sets of letters are noted. Given these similarities I conclude by arguing that the relative status and power of writer and recipient exerts at least as strong an influence on the arrangement of texts as any cultural tradition. Copyright © 2007 John Benjamins Publishing Company.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)245-258
JournalJournal of Asian Pacific Communication
Volume17
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2007

Fingerprint

cultural tradition
China
genre
rhetoric
recipient
writer
Europe
Rhetoric

Citation

Kirkpatrick, A. (2007). The arrangement of letters: Hierarchy or culture? From Cicero to China. Journal of Asian Pacific Communication, 17(2), 245-258.