It amounts to a tutorial on eloquence conducted by Churchill and Lincoln, Dickens and Melville, Burke and Paine, and more than a hundred others. The book organizes a vast range of examples from those sources into 18 chapters that illustrate and analyze the most valuable rhetorical devices with unprecedented clarity.
The result is an indispensable source of pleasure and instruction for all lovers of the English language. This is a really a recording of basically a reference book. Hearding it is in many ways similar to hearing a dictionary - a lot of ideas very very quickly. This is slow and it's hard to keep all the ideas in your head at once but likely it best that way. The ideas do build but it easier to try out the ideas at a status meeting or something equally dull slowly. Most of the examples are from American and British including Irish Parliament speeches.
While the context isn't important to the subject as the the word order that important; as a Canadian I found the American references a little frustrating given I never actually study American history. It's not critical but it's annoying. Any additional comments? I thought a book about rhetoric would work well in an audio book format.
But after listening to about a third of the book I decided that to get much out of it I'd really need to read the print version. Since I drive while listening, it mostly was an opportunity to hear what the author thought were remember able quotes from the 19th Century. It does categorize them all, but one would need to be listening in a situation where they could make notes for that to be practical. This book fully merits five stars on the print content, but that presents a problem because the narrator deserves six or eight. One might suspect that a book like this would not work well on audio, and with a less talented narrator that would be true.
But the narrator in this performance makes the quotations an absolute delight to hear. The narrators are high quality and listening is like sitting with the best English speakers and authors for hours. Example after high quality example. I will be reading this again and again. Get Your Free Audiobook. I will be reading it again in pieces for years to come, and applying its lessons to my own writing and speaking.
Some of which I already recognized in the definitions given in the book. Another of its strengths being to define what is already familiar to us, subconsciously. Nov 11, David R.
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Godine rated it it was amazing Shelves: words-and-humor. An essential reference for anyone who studies verbal style. Lanham, Professor Emeritus of English,UCLA "Mandatory for persons involved in public speaking, this book should prove indispensable also to writers wishing to improve their literary style. Farnsworth has written the book as he ought to have written it — and as only he could have written it symploce.
Buy it and read it — buy it and read it epimone. Garner, author of The Elements of Legal Style "Many things, from dictators to advertising, have made modern people suspicious of and cynical about language mobilized to move us.
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Fortunately, Ward Farnsworth's delightful swim in a sea of well-chosen words should help to rehabilitate the reputation of rhetoric. Will, syndicated columnist "Ward Farnsworth's invaluable review of classical English rhetoric is not only a vital tool for aiding clear expression, but a timely reminder that, despite the confusion of the present technological age, human nature, and our ability to communicate in clear and often beautiful ways, are unchanging.
Apr 30, Tso William rated it really liked it Shelves: literary-criticism , non-fiction , language , law. I first start learning English by reading classics. I was taught to write in a way that should strictly adhere to the grammar rules. The strange placing of words in those classics puzzled me. Conjunction can be missing or one word can follow another without verb. Some of them also double negatives which are discouraged by all teachers and most literary critics, not least by George Orwell in his famous essay Politics and the English language. It is only now that I understand that those are not o I first start learning English by reading classics.
It is only now that I understand that those are not only accepted forms of writing but are rhetorical devices.
The missing conjunction can be asyndeton , the absence of verb anadiplosis and double negatives litotes. We are never taught of those devices because, I suspect, the rise of the linguistic discipline displace the study of rhetoric.
Only more senior students have brief glimpse of them when they engage in literary studies. Farnsworth selected examples from various sources - novels, plays, essays, speeches, legal submission, even biblical passages. This is a relatively short book with less than pages, but the details are enormous. It will likely influence my style of writing which, you might have already noticed, is convoluted and unnecessarily lengthy.
Dec 14, David rated it it was amazing.
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The value of this book is not in the descriptions of rhetorical devices, but in the examples provided from some of the masters of the language. The mix of samples from literature and speeches show the potential for each device in a range of circumstances and uses.
Farnsworth's Classical English Rhetoric
The book is divided well into related devices, placing less emphasis on the technical names of each device and more on their use for the writer and speaker of the English language. The choice to limit using translations primarily to Bi The value of this book is not in the descriptions of rhetorical devices, but in the examples provided from some of the masters of the language.
The choice to limit using translations primarily to Biblical quotations benefits the reader by giving examples composed in English. Readers looking for a complete treatment of rhetorical devices are better served looking elsewhere, but readers seeking a treatment of more popular devices through immersion cannot go wrong with this book.
Apr 27, G. Burrow rated it really liked it Shelves: rhetoric. If this book were the highway, I read it fast enough that I caught only every fifth mile marker, but I still enjoyed the ride and I know right where to go if I want to catch the other four. Jan 23, Pamela rated it it was amazing. I really loved this, though I skimmed it due to my brain being at capacity. Sep 21, David rated it really liked it Shelves: how-to. I read it in snippets and learn something every time. Jan 18, Salem Lorot rated it it was amazing. I have been listening to the audio book the whole of this week and I am eternally grateful that I did.
This text is well-written and its greatest strength lies in the examples it gives to various rhetorical devices. I now have to read the text, re-read it, listen it over and over. Thank you Farnsworth for writing this book. Nov 19, E rated it really liked it.
Farnsworth’s Classical English Rhetoric - Harvard Book Store
Pretty straightforward work: Farnsworth examines the most common and effective tools of rhetoric, both written and spoken, and then provides classic examples of each. Many, many examples of each form of rhetoric, demonstrating the various ways in which they can be used. He deals with epizeuxis, epimone, anaphora repetition at the start , epistrophe repetition at the end , symploce repetition at both start and end , anadiplosis repeating the ending at the beginning , polyptoton repeating roo Pretty straightforward work: Farnsworth examines the most common and effective tools of rhetoric, both written and spoken, and then provides classic examples of each.
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