Farnsworth's Classical English Rhetoric

David R. Godine Publisher
4
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Rhetoric is among the most ancient academic disciplines, and we all use it every day whether expertly or not. This book is a lively set of lessons on the subject. It is about rhetorical figures: practical ways of applying old and powerful principles--repetition and variety, suspense and relief, concealment and surprise, the creation of expectations and then the satisfaction or frustration of them--to the composition of a simple sentence or a complete paragraph. --from publisher description.
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About the author

Ward Farnsworth is dean and the John Jeffers Research Chair in Law at the University of Texas School of Law. He is the author many books, including "The Legal Analyst, " also published by the University of Chicago Press.

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Additional Information

Publisher
David R. Godine Publisher
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Published on
Dec 31, 2011
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Pages
253
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ISBN
9781567923858
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Best For
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Language
English
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Genres
Language Arts & Disciplines / Rhetoric
Language Arts & Disciplines / Vocabulary
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Farnsworth’s Classical English Rhetoric was the definitive guide to the use of rhetorical devices in English. It became a best-seller in its field, with over 20,000 copies in print. Here now is the natural sequel, Farnsworth’s Classical English Metaphor—the most entertaining and instructive book ever written about the art of comparison. A metaphor compares two things that seem unalike. Lincoln was a master of the art (A house divided against itself cannot stand). So were Jefferson (The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants) and Shakespeare (All the world’s a stage/And all the men and women merely players). Farnsworth’s book is the finest collection of such figurative comparisons ever assembled. It offers an original analysis of patterns in the sources and uses of metaphor. It also explains the different stylistic ways that comparisons can be written, and with what effects. The book starts by dividing the sources of metaphor into families, including nature, architecture, animals, and myth. It then shows how the best writers have put each of those traditions to distinctive use-for the sake of caricature, to make an abstract idea visible, to make a complicated idea simple. The book provides, along the way, an extraordinarily wide-ranging tour of examples from novelists, playwrights, philosophers, and orators. There is interest, instruction, and amusement to be found on every page. Ward Farnsworth-lawyer, dean, teacher, and polymath-has produced another indispensable book for the writer. Classical English Metaphor will be a constant source of learning and enjoyment for anyone who appreciates the art of observation and the pleasure of well-chosen words.
Who sets language policy today? Who made whom the grammar doctor? Lacking the equivalent of l'Académie française, we English speakers must find our own way looking for guidance or vindication in source after source. McGuffey's Readers introduced nineteenth-century students to "correct" English. Strunk and White's Elements of Style and William Safire's column, "On Language," provide help on diction and syntax to contemporary writers and speakers. Sister Miriam Joseph's book, The Trivium: The Liberal Arts of Logic, Grammar, and Rhetoric, invites the reader into a deeper understanding—one that includes rules, definitions, and guidelines, but whose ultimate end is to transform the reader into a liberal artist.

A liberal artist seeks the perfection of the human faculties. The liberal artist begins with the language arts, the trivium, which is the basis of all learning because it teaches the tools for reading, writing, speaking, and listening. Thinking underlies all these activities. Many readers will recognize elements of this book: parts of speech, syntax, propositions, syllogisms, enthymemes, logical fallacies, scientific method, figures of speech, rhetorical technique, and poetics. The Trivium, however, presents these elements within a philosophy of language that connects thought, expression, and reality.

"Trivium" means the crossroads where the three branches of language meet. In the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, students studied and mastered this integrated view of language. Regrettably, modern language teaching keeps the parts without the vision of the whole. Inspired by the possibility of helping students "acquire mastery over the tools of learning" Sister Miriam Joseph and other teachers at Saint Mary's College designed and taught a course on the trivium for all first year students. The Trivium resulted from that noble endeavor.

The liberal artist travels in good company. Sister Miriam Joseph frequently cites passages from William Shakespeare, John Milton, Plato, the Bible, Homer, and other great writers. The Paul Dry Books edition of The Trivium provides new graphics and notes to make the book accessible to today's readers. Sister Miriam Joseph told her first audience that "the function of the trivium is the training of the mind for the study of matter and spirit, which constitute the sum of reality. The fruit of education is culture, which Mathew Arnold defined as 'the knowledge of ourselves and the world.'" May this noble endeavor lead many to that end.

"Is the trivium, then, a sufficient education for life? Properly taught, I believe that it should be."—Dorothy L. Sayers

"The Trivium is a highly recommended and welcome contribution to any serious and dedicated writer's reference collection."—Midwest Book Review

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