Fr. 36.50

Farnsworth's Classical English Style

English · Hardback

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Informationen zum Autor Ward Farnsworth is Professor and W. Page Keeton Chair at the University of Texas School of Law. He is author of The Practicing Stoic as well as the Farnsworth Classical English series which includes Farnsworth's Classical English Rhetoric , Farnsworth's Classical English Metaphor , and Farnsworth's Classical English Style —all published by Godine. Klappentext From the author of Farnsworth's Classical English Rhetoric , a manual for clear, forceful, unforgettable speech. Preface Abraham Lincoln wrote more beautifully and memorably than anyone in public life does now. So did Winston Churchill; so did Edmund Burke; so did many others, none of whom sound quite alike but all of whom achieved an eloquence that seems foreign to our times. What did they know that we don't? It might seem strange to seek instruction from writers who lived so long ago. It certainly would sound odd to imitate their styles directly. But writers of lasting stature still make the best teachers. They understood principles of style that are powerful and enduring, even if the principles have to be adapted to our era, or to any other, before they become useful. That is the premise of this book, at any rate. It is a set of lessons on style drawn from writers whose words have stood the test of time. This book is the third in a series about principles of good writing derived from an earlier age in the life of the language. The first, Classical English Rhetoric , showed how rhetorical figures-ancient patterns for the arrangement of words-have been used to great effect in English oratory and prose. Classical English Metaphor did the same for figurative comparisons. This book takes the same approach to more basic questions of style: choices about the selection of words, the construction of sentences, and so on. It explains some of the ways in which masters of the language have made those choices, and how the choices have put force into their writing and speech. That is a short summary of the aim of this book. Below are some other ways to think about it. There are already lots of books about how to write, many of which I like very much, so it's worth a moment to explain why this one is any different. A large share of modern books about prose style are about how to avoid mistakes. They explain why bad writing sounds that way. This book is about stylistic virtue. It asks why good writing sounds that way. Books on style usually emphasize some general principles. This book also has general principles to offer, but it spends a lot of time on details-the choice of one word or rhythm rather than another. Some readers will find those details too much, but there is no avoiding minutiae if you want to understand why some kinds of writing sound better than others. A style is the result of many small decisions about choice of words, cadence, and so on. If you don't have the patience to look hard at little choices like those, that's perfectly reasonable and probably a sign of good health. This book is for those who do have the patience because they want to know what has made some heroic writers sound the way they do. Books on style usually state precepts that have some merit but that talented writers violate often. Much of this book is about the violations and reasons to commit them. It often makes sense to avoid Latinate words, long sentences, the passive voice, etc.-but not always. Our topic, in part, is when to make exceptions. A lapse from a supposed rule of style isn't an offense against nature. It's just a choice with consequences. Sometimes you want the consequences. Typical books about style contain much advice and a few illustrations of how the advice works. The ratio in this book is reversed. It depends more on examples, and it supplies ...

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