• Special Topics in Rhetoric: Limited Study – Revolution: From the Fictitious to the Real

    244A | CCN: 78117

    Instructor: Tansman A M

    Date / Time: W 5-8P, 210 STEPHENS

    1 SU Units

    Victor Hugo remarked that "a revolution is a return from the fictitious to the real." Hugo’s words not only fundamentally question what might be called the realist project but also contain a rudimentary yet thought-provoking theory about how sublime historical events come about. Hugo’s remark leads to four suppositions that are each well worth examining: that the here-and-now may be less "real"; than we like to think; that, conversely, the past may not be solely something of the past; that creating something as radically new as a revolution is an instance of moving forward by moving backward; and, finally, that the desire to reestablish contact with, or immersion in, "reality" (whatever that may be) is an important mainspring for groundbreaking human action. Exploring Hugo’s words is, in fact, a very timely exercise: it may – when the 19th century word "fictitious" is substituted by its 21st century equivalent "virtual" – shed light on how present-day homo Google  relates to "the real."