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How Words Make Things Happen by [Bromwich, David]
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How Words Make Things Happen Kindle Edition


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Length: 144 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled Language: English

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Product description

Product Description

Sooner or later, our words take on meanings other than we intended. How Words Make Things Happen suggests that the conventional idea of persuasive rhetoric (which assumes a speaker's control of calculated effects) and the modern idea of literary autonomy (which assumes that 'poetry makes nothing happen') together have produced a misleading account of the relations between words and human action. Words do make things happen. But they cannot be counted on to
produce the result they intend.

This volume studies examples from a range of speakers and writers and offers close readings of their words. Chapter 1 considers the theory of speech-acts propounded by J.L. Austin. 'Speakers Who Convince Themselves' is the subject of chapter 2, which interprets two soliloquies by Shakespeare's characters and two by Milton's Satan. The oratory of Burke and Lincoln come in for extended treatment in chapter 3, while chapter 4 looks at the rival tendencies of moral suasion and aestheticism in the
poetry of Yeats and Auden. The final chapter, a cause of controversy when first published in the London Review of Books, supports a policy of unrestricted free speech against contemporary proposals of censorship. Since we cannot know what our own words are going to do, we have no standing to justify
the banishment of one set of words in favour of another.

About the Author

David Bromwich is a scholar of British and American romanticism. He is Sterling Professor of English at Yale University, where he has taught since 1988. Among his books are Hazlitt: The Mind of a Critic, Disowned by Memory: Wordsworth's Poetry of the 1790s, and The Intellectual Life of Edmund Burke.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 575 KB
  • Print Length: 144 pages
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford (28 March 2019)
  • Sold by: Amazon Australia Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B07Q58F423
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #833,759 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 reviews
Michael H.Friedman
5.0 out of 5 starsRead and Learn from the Master Critic of our Times.
5 August 2019 - Published on Amazon.com