rhetorical figure


If you assume the idea of blackness as being somehow negative, then you might  react that way to them when you first see them, and might be blind to the subtleties, the subtleties of character that I  try to develop in all of the figures. The reason why I painted them as black as they are was so that they operate as rhetorical figures. They are literally and rhetorically black in the same way that we describe ourselves as black people in America; we use that extreme position to designate ourselves in contrast to a white power structure of the country or the white mainstream. Now, for me as a black painter, I’m as interested in participating in a general dialogue about art-making as anybody else. But I want to be able to do it in such a way that I don’t have to leave behind that black representation. So what I try to do is make the paintings be as much about the way paintings can be done, meaning, you know, historically and technically, how paintings look and how they incorporate style and, at the same time, seem  to be as much about the subject that is represented in them, so that when you see the painting, somehow the way it’s painted has to be so undeniably compelling that you can’t separate the image that’s pictured in it from the way the painting is made. So that you have to take them both as a whole package.

And one of the reasons why I took that on  as a project was because there was a period when a lot of black artists, who, like anybody else, wanted to be part of the mainstream, assumed they had to let go of the black representation and go into something that was more fully abstract; and by it being abstract, maybe you couldn’t see up front that the person who made the   painting wasn’t just like anybody else who made a painting that was abstract, maybe like De Kooning or Rothko or somebody. Because I think there had always been this way in which the moment a black artist presented images of black people, then the issues in the work seemed to always collapse into simply social and political issues, and any sort of aesthetic value that the work could have seemed to slip out of the discussion, so that the work was seen as a social phenomenon rather than an aesthetic phenomenon and, as such, it was easy to compartmentalize that work and put it into spaces where it was appropriate at the moment to show off black artists, which is why you see a lot of black artists who don’t get the opportunity to do exhibitions until February, you know, in Black History Month. And so I’m just saying that a part of what I’d always wanted to do was really to make work that operated in very complex ways, aesthetically, formally, and also content-wise and conceptually. And to do that in a way that had a visual authority that had to be addressed along with the image that was there. - Kerry James Marshall on his series, Lost Boys

For a genuine poet, metaphor is not a rhetorical figure but a vicarious image that he actually beholds in place of a concept. A character is for him not a whole he had composed out of particular traits, picked up here and there, but an obtrusively alive person before his very eyes, distinguished from the otherwise identical vision of a painter only by the fact that it continually goes on living and acting.
—  Friedrich Nietzsche, The Birth of Tragedy (trans. Walter Kaufmann)
On Rhetoric and the Product Rule

I just realized that the product rule for differentiation is like a chiasmus! It’s the fist term times the derivative of the second term, plus the derivative of the first term times the second term. That “AB, BA” pattern is also present in the chiasmus, which is a rhetorical figure that uses a sort of inverted parallelism.
Tl;dr Don’t take Calculus and AP English III at the same time, or your mind becomes consumed with weird shit like this.