The essays in this anthology approach literature as communicative structures dependent on media and on rhetorical and narrative modes. Ranging from ancient Greece to the present, the essays are preoccupied with the formal constructions of literature rather than conceptions of particular aesthetic experiences. The approach is similar to the deconstructionist criticism of especially romanticist metaphysics in regarding works of literature as essentially rhetorical artefacts. But unlike the attention towards the aporia of meaning and communicative breakdowns of deconstructivism, they rely on the reconstructive mapping of literary structures as the basis for understanding historical developments and changes in literature. Their investigations in rhetoric and narratology form the backbone in pragmatic arguments concerning the developments in literary history and question historically changeable understandings of literature as a privileged medium for expressing meaning.