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This essay introduces Lű's Annals (Lűshi chunqiu), a classical Chinese text with a wealth of material on rhetoric. Not only does the text evaluate numerous examples of persuasion and sophistry, it also lays out a system of rhetorical precepts grounded in a distinctive ontology, that of correlative cosmology. After outlining the cosmology, epistemology, and theory of language of Lű's Annals, I trace how these shape its rhetorical theory and practices. I then consider how the text itself works as a persuasive artifact in the light of its own strictures. The essay closes with some reflections on why this valuable resource for Classical Chinese rhetoric has been neglected.


Communication | Speech and Rhetorical Studies


"Published as Garrett, Mary. M. (Autumn 2012). “What Need is There of Words?” The Rhetoric of Lű's Annals (Lűshi chunqiu). Rhetorica: A Journal of the History of Rhetoric, 30(4), 354-374. © 2012 by the Regents of the University of California/Sponsoring Society or Association. Copying and permissions notice: Authorization to copy this content beyond fair use (as specified in Sections 107 and 108 of the U. S. Copyright Law) for internal or personal use, or the internal or personal use of specific clients, is granted by the Regents of the University of California/on behalf of the Sponsoring Society for libraries and other users, provided that they are registered with and pay the specified fee via Rightslink® on [JSTOR (] or directly with the Copyright Clearance Center," Article is available in JSTOR.