Figure of Speech: prosopopoeia, the figure of personification. From the Greek, meaning “to make a person.”
Today’s quote refers to a famous interview an “unnamed official” (probably named Karl Rove) gave to writer Ron Suskind for the New York Times Magazine. “We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality,” the official said (anonymity being its own form of reality-creating, or un-creating).
Mark Danner takes the White House reality and gives it life, Frankenstein-like, in a prosopopoeia. The figure makes an animal or thing take on human qualities. Danner’s rhetorical reality takes on the qualities of a prison rapist — hyperbole at its most hyperbolific.
“Our age,” Danner says, “is truly the Age of Rhetoric.” But, as Isocrates would say, isn’t every age the Age of Rhetoric?
Snappy Answer: “Reality should get a WMD tattoo.”