Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

"Twilight truth": Reading the rhetorics of Death in June
by Balty, Todd, M.A., California State University, Long Beach, 2016, 104; 10240606
Abstract (Summary)

This thesis argues that Douglas Pearce, frontman and lead songwriter for Death in June, presents rhetoric that remains under-examined. Epideictic, which Aristotle defines as a discourse of praise and blame, is key in this analysis. I blame and praise Pearce’s oratory—his songs, statements, and fashions—by examination of rhetorical tropes and figures. One’s moral character, or ethos, might be discerned through irony and its ostensibly literal counterpart, sincerity, to influence the epideictics a given rhetorician may deliver. While intentions cannot be nailed down with certainty, the rhetorics of praise and blame are means to evaluate political art like Pearce’s work. While not overtly a rhetorician, he is an ironist who has engaged in a decades-long musical campaign that indeterminately both rails against and ratifies fascist ideology. Yet from a Marxist perspective the epideictics of Death in June may be tilted towards baseness, irrespective of Pearce’s stated goals.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Williams, Mark T.
Commitee: Griswold, Gary, Thrasher, Thomas
School: California State University, Long Beach
Department: English
School Location: United States -- California
Source: MAI 56/03M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: British and Irish literature, Rhetoric
Keywords: Burke, Death in June, Epideictics, Music, Nazi, Pearce, Douglas, Postpunk, Rhetoric
Publication Number: 10240606
ISBN: 9781369552652
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