By Erik Gunderson
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Extra resources for Staging Masculinity: The Rhetoric of Performance in the Roman World (The Body, In Theory: Histories of Cultural Materialism)
Given this last example, the scene of rhetorical training resembles not only the practices and the care of the self INTRODUCTION 25 outlined in The History of Sexuality, but also the panoptic scenario. The orator is constrained and determined by a faceless gaze that he feels always and everywhere upon him. By way of meeting the demands of this gaze, the orator inscribes himself within a power relation in which he becomes the principle of his own domination. His self-mastery emerges as a response to an imagined inspection that must be forestalled and mastered by way of a scrupulous and complete self-inscription within its dictates.
What is the desire lived in performance? On the other hand, ancient rhetorical theory offers the opportunity for a close and detailed 28 STAGING MASCULINITY examination of active interventions into this same set of questions. Rhetorical theory and practice and their interrelationship thus offer an overt example of the process of subject production. The commandment to be a good man experienced at speaking is not one to be taken lightly: an entire technology of subjects in the world is herein implicated.
Other texts become embedded in the rhetorical handbook, and the manner in which one is asked to read these works indicates the style of interpretation required of the student by the rhetorical treatise as a whole. Though there are a certain number of complaints about the manner in which performance has been taken for granted by other authors, the art of reading for bodies forms a second and related skill that must also be imparted. The student of the body must read for bodies, and he is even taught how to read for them.