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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS MY PERSONAL EXPERIENCE IN CARRYING OtJT THIS STUDY HAS strengthened my theoretical conviction that invention is best understood as a social act. In The Philosophy ofLiterary form, Kenneth Burke describes an "'unending conversation' that is going on at the point in history when we are born." This conversation, which gives rise to materials for the dramatic process of history, precedes us and continues after we depart: "You listen for a while," Burke says, "until you decide that you have caught the tenor of the argument ; then you put in your oar." Broadly applied, Burke's metaphor alludes to birth and death, but it aptly describes as well one's part in a community of discourse or in a particular debate within that community . In the chapters on invention that follow, as I "put in my oar," I attempt to identify those points at which the voices of others-those necessary others whose words I have read, and those with whom I have spoken and thought and worked-are particularly evident. In addition, general acknowledgments are in order here. Above all I wish to acknowledge gratefully the significant contributions of S. Michael Halloran, whose influence is present in and beyond these pages, as a friend, a critic of visions and revisions, a source of ideas, and a partner in fruitful and continuing conversations . By being available to respond to and amplify ideas in their early stages, he invited invention. Others have been very helpful at various stages as this work progressed . Lee Odell provided careful readings oftwo previous drafts of the manuscript, and in doing so, raised many thought-provoking questions. Richard K. Worthington made valuable comments from a political scientist's perspective, and I have particularly appreciated xiv Acknowledgments his optimism as this study evolved. Merrill Whitburn gave constant encouragement and helped me find ways to make time to complete the necessary revisions. Douglas Washburn provided a close reading of sections of the manuscript, and T. J. Larkin devoted many hours to discussions about language, philosophy, and social theory. Members of the Publications Committee for the Studies in Writing and Rhetoric Series provided useful suggestions for revision. In his role as NCTE director of publications, Paul O'Dea was helpful and gracious, putting into practice a statement he once made in a letter extending a deadline: "Professional acts should be social acts as well." Others have played less direct but nonetheless important parts in making my work possible. Philip Booth and Ralph Ciancio, both former teachers of mine and continuing friends, have had little to do with what is said in these pages but a good deal to do with their being written at all, by virtue of their advice and faith over many years. Richard E. Young's exemplary work first drew me to the topic of rhetorical invention, and I feel fortunate to have had the benefit of the "problem-finding" he has accomplished for contemporary rhetoricians interested in invention. Whenever you write a book, Gertrude Stein has said, you need to have "someone say yes to it." I have been fortunate in having generous colleagues from Canada to "say yes" to what I was attempting: Anthony Pare, Richard M. Coe, and James A. Reither. By debating points, suggesting readings, and directing me to other people with like interests, each has helped me test ideas and bring this work to completion. I am grateful as well to the friends and relatives who have helped my family and me in various ways, providing dinners and child care, pleasure and understanding. In particular I thank the late Paul L. Burke, Anne Burke, Russell LeFevre, Allie Stickney, David Wagner , Lynn Stillman, Jim Stillman, Barbara Murphy, and Roman Kokodyniak. Most of all, I owe a great debt to Jim and Colby LeFevre, who probably do not think that invention is a social act, since the process of invention meant that I spent many hours and days away from them over the past three years. Jim willingly spent a year commuting and devoted much time beyond that to chores and child care so that I could take time to complete this work. Somehow he has managed to remain sympathetic and good-humored throughout . I am very much aware ofhis presence between all these lines, and I thank him for the extraordinary things he has done. Invention as a Soeial Act ...


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