Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Patrick Bizzaro, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Chauna Craig, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Resa Crane Bizzaro, Ph.D.


Aristotle, the Sublime, and Quantum Rhetoric: New Approaches to Understanding the Fiction Writing Process traces the effects of classical rhetoric and the sublime on the lore of fiction writing and then offers an alternative approach to that model. One element of fiction writing lore I discuss is the pervasive belief that part of creative writing can be taught while part cannot. I argue craft is part of what is believed teachable, and I claim that that belief originated with Aristotle's Poetics. Then I argue that though it is deemed that part of creative writing cannot be taught it is actually too early to make such an assertion because what cannot be taught is not defined thoroughly enough. How can something be deemed teachable or unteachable without a clear definition of what it is? By employing Longinus' On the Sublime, in tandem with the work of Kant, Burke, and Alison, I argue sublimity might be one element within what is considered unteachable in fiction writing. Finally, I offer an alternative to this paradigm, an interdisciplinary pedagogical approach that fosters student self-reflection over product-focused teachable/unteachable methods. Dr. Patrick Bizzaro and I call the approach Quantum Rhetoric, which I define for my purposes as the application of quantum mechanics to the uses of language, which in this case is the process of writing fiction.