By Wayne C. Booth

ISBN-10: 0226065537

ISBN-13: 9780226065533

Probably no different severe label has been made to hide extra flooring than "irony," and in our time irony has come to have such a lot of meanings that on its own it skill nearly not anything. during this paintings, Wayne C. sales space cuts during the ensuing confusions by means of reading how we be able to percentage really particular ironies—and why we regularly fail once we try and achieve this. How does a reader or listener realize the type of assertion which calls for him to reject its "clear" and "obvious" which means? and the way does any reader recognize the place to forestall, as soon as he has launched into the unsafe and exhilarating direction of rejecting "what the phrases say" and reconstructing "what the writer means"?In the 1st and longer a part of his paintings, sales space offers with the workings of what he calls "stable irony," irony with a transparent rhetorical rationale. He then turns to meant instabilities—ironies that withstand interpretation and eventually bring about the "infinite absolute negativities" that experience obsessed feedback because the Romantic period.Professor sales space is often satirically acutely aware that not anyone can fathom the unfathomable. yet via having a look heavily at volatile ironists like Samuel Becket, he exhibits that no less than a few of our commonplaces approximately meaninglessness require revision. eventually, he explores—with the aid of Plato—the wry paradoxes that threaten any uncompromising statement that every one statement may be undermined via the spirit of irony.

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Sample text

After years England was victorious, but by failing to control her in development she had suffered a defeat, in terms of human life, more costly than any military disaster. [2] While the Victorian architects were busy erecting tasteful productions of Chartres Cathedral and the belfry of Bruges (so for factory chimneys) and covering the rather inefficiently marshes on the outskirts of Westminster with the stucco palaces of nobility and gentry, it must not be imagined that the needs of humbler classes of the community were in any way overlooked.

Wrestling with irony, he and I were not talking only about "verbal" matters; we were driven into debate about how a man should live. 2. The metaphor also dramatizes the possibility of an unlimited variety of "distances" between the dwelling places. " What is up for some ironists will of course be down for others; when ironists pretend, as they sometimes do, to invite us downward, it is downward only on their victim's scale but still upward on the ironist's own. An atheist satirizing the naive piety of a believer- "It almost broke my heart to have to undeceive him, dragging him down from the heights to grovel with me in the facts of life as it is lived"-is inviting us to look down on the rejected position just as much as God is when he says to Job: Where were you when I laid the earth 's foundations?

Many comic writers rely on an initial absurdity to set the tone for an entire tale, as Mark Twain does at the beginning of "Baker's Bluejay Yarn" : "Animals talk to each other, of course. There can be no question about that; but I suppose there are very few people Who can understand them. I never knew but one man who could. " Mark Twain knew that you would know that he knew that his speaker is talking nonsense here. k. The re is no limit, except for the conventions of agreement, to the Inds of knowledge that a speaker can violate : a) Popular expressions.

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A Rhetoric of Irony (Phoenix Books) by Wayne C. Booth


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