Tonight’s Themes Metaphor and Language Rhetoric and Reality Style and Substance
Richard Weaver (1910-1963) Ideas have Consequences (1948) The Ethics of Rhetoric (1953) Language is Sermonic
To Write the Truth 1.What is Weaver’s problem with the way composition is being taught? 2.What are vere loqui, recte loqui, and utiliter loqui? 3.What does Weaver argue is the proper role of the teacher?
Four Master Tropes 1.According to Burke, what are these and how are they related? 1.Metaphor/perspective 2.Metonymy/reduction 3.Synecdoche/representation 4.Irony/dialectic
Four Master Tropes Metaphor (Perspective) – Seeing something in terms of something else Metonymy (Reduction) – Conveying something incorporeal or intangible in terms of something corporeal or tangible (science) Synecdoche (Representation) – Part for the whole; relationships of convertibility between terms Irony (Dialectic) – Universalizing or abstracting the perspectives of all the characters from the perspective of a single character.
Wayne C. Booth (1921-2005) The Rhetoric of Fiction (1961) A Rhetoric of Irony (1974) The Company We Keep: An Ethics of Fiction (1988)
The Rhetorical Stance 1.What is the rhetorical stance and how does it differ from the pedant’s, advertiser’s, and entertainer’s stance? 2.What does a “good author” do that lesser authors do not? 3.What is the rhetorical balance Booth discusses in the last sections?
Metaphor as Rhetoric 1.What are Booth’s criteria for judging good and bad metaphors? 2.Why does Booth like the catfish metaphor so much? 3.How does (and should) metaphor choices affect or determine ethos? (57)
Metaphor as Rhetoric II Read (aloud) Metaphor Delivered (58) 1.What kind of passage is this? What is the context? 2.What sort of ethos comes through?
Metaphor III 1.What does Booth mean on p. 64: “The quality of any culture will in part be measured both by the quality of the metaphors it induces or allows and the quality of the judges of metaphor that it educates and rewards. 2.P. 66: “Criticism of metaphoric worlds, or visions, becomes one clear and important…instance of a general human project of improving life by criticizing it.” 3.How are these issues related to advertising? (69)
Metaphor IV 71: “Even the most secular literary work is engaged in the religious exchange.” 71: “There can be no ‘innocent’ art, no art that can be considered free of ethical responsibility.”
Stylistic Performances Thomas Pynchon – The Crying of Lot 49 Jonathan Franzen – The Corrections William S. Burroughs – The Naked Lunch