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Thomas De Quincey : British Rhetoric's Romantic Turn

By: Agnew, Lois Peters.
Material type: TextTextSeries: eBooks on Demand.Rhetoric in the Modern Era: Publisher: Carbondale : Southern Illinois University Press, 2012Description: 1 online resource (181 p.).ISBN: 9780809331499.Subject(s): Criticism -- Great Britain -- History -- 19th century | Criticism | De Quincey, Thomas, 1785-1859 -- Criticism and interpretation | De Quincey, Thomas, 1785-1859 -- Knowledge -- Literature | De Quincey, Thomas, 1785-1859Genre/Form: Electronic books.Additional physical formats: Print version:: Thomas De Quincey : British Rhetoric's Romantic TurnDDC classification: 828.809 | 828/.809 LOC classification: PR4537PR4537 .A74 2012Online resources: Click here to view this ebook.
Contents:
Cover; Rhetoric in the Modern Era Series; Title Page; Copyright; Contents; Acknowledgments; Chapter 1: Introduction: Thomas De Quincey's Dialogic Rhetoric; Chapter 2: De Quincey's Life; Chapter 3: Eddying Thoughts and Dialogical Potential; Chapter 4: De Quincey's "Science of Style"; Chapter 5: De Quincey's Writing: Dialogic Rhetoric in Action; Chapter 6: De Quincey's Place in Rhetorical Histories; Works Cited and Referenced; Index; Author Biography; Books in the Rhetoric in the Modern Era Series; Back Cover
Summary: This wide-ranging volume gives proper attention to the views on rhetoric and style set forth by British literary figure Thomas De Quincey (1785-1859), whose contributions to the history of rhetoric are often overlooked. Lois Peters Agnew presents an overview of this theorist's life and provides cultural context for his time and place, with particular emphasis on the significance of his rhetoric as both an alternative strain of rhetorical history and a previously unrealized example of rhetoric's transformation in nineteenth-century Britain.  Agnew presents an extensive discussion of De Quincey's ideas on rhetoric, his theory and practice of conversation, his theory of style and its role in achieving rhetoric's dialogic potential, and his strategic use of humor and irony in such works as Confessions of an English Opium Eater. Synthesizing previous treatments of De Quincey's rhetoric and connecting his unusual perspectives on language to the biographical details of his life, Agnew helps readers understand his intellectual development while bringing to light the cultural contexts that prompted radical changes in the ways nineteenth-century British intellectuals conceived of the role of language and the imagination in public and private discourse. Agnew presents an alternative vision of rhetoric that departs from many common assumptions about rhetoric's civic purpose and offers insights into the topic of rhetoric and technological change. The result is an accessible and thorough explanation of De Quincey's complex ideas on rhetoric and the first work to fully show the reach of his ideas across multiple texts written during his lifetime.
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Cover; Rhetoric in the Modern Era Series; Title Page; Copyright; Contents; Acknowledgments; Chapter 1: Introduction: Thomas De Quincey's Dialogic Rhetoric; Chapter 2: De Quincey's Life; Chapter 3: Eddying Thoughts and Dialogical Potential; Chapter 4: De Quincey's "Science of Style"; Chapter 5: De Quincey's Writing: Dialogic Rhetoric in Action; Chapter 6: De Quincey's Place in Rhetorical Histories; Works Cited and Referenced; Index; Author Biography; Books in the Rhetoric in the Modern Era Series; Back Cover

This wide-ranging volume gives proper attention to the views on rhetoric and style set forth by British literary figure Thomas De Quincey (1785-1859), whose contributions to the history of rhetoric are often overlooked. Lois Peters Agnew presents an overview of this theorist's life and provides cultural context for his time and place, with particular emphasis on the significance of his rhetoric as both an alternative strain of rhetorical history and a previously unrealized example of rhetoric's transformation in nineteenth-century Britain.  Agnew presents an extensive discussion of De Quincey's ideas on rhetoric, his theory and practice of conversation, his theory of style and its role in achieving rhetoric's dialogic potential, and his strategic use of humor and irony in such works as Confessions of an English Opium Eater. Synthesizing previous treatments of De Quincey's rhetoric and connecting his unusual perspectives on language to the biographical details of his life, Agnew helps readers understand his intellectual development while bringing to light the cultural contexts that prompted radical changes in the ways nineteenth-century British intellectuals conceived of the role of language and the imagination in public and private discourse. Agnew presents an alternative vision of rhetoric that departs from many common assumptions about rhetoric's civic purpose and offers insights into the topic of rhetoric and technological change. The result is an accessible and thorough explanation of De Quincey's complex ideas on rhetoric and the first work to fully show the reach of his ideas across multiple texts written during his lifetime.

Description based upon print version of record.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

CHOICE Review

In this clearly written book, Agnew (Syracuse Univ.) argues that "the key to De Quincey's Romantic vision of rhetoric lies in his persistent representation of the creative imagination as a counter to the restrictive drive for efficiency found in industrial society." Analyzing De Quincey's autobiographical writings and his essays on rhetoric, the author unfolds their "emphasis on the subjective exploration of multiple possibilities" and their "rhetoric that resists certainty and closure." She interprets De Quincey's apparent conservatism ably: "De Quincey's commitment to the rhetorical investigation of multiple perspectives" coincides with his "ability to write for periodicals with differing political views" (referencing Robert Morrison's biography The English Opium Eater, CH, Sep'11, 49-0141). The book attributes De Quincey's high praise of Edmund Burke's writings to a similarly "capacious understanding." Joining Frederick Burwick's Thomas De Quincey: Knowledge and Power (2000), the collection Rhetorical Traditions and British Romantic Literature, ed. by Don Bialostosky and Lawrence Needham (1995), and numerous other studies of De Quincey's writings, this new book summarizes familiar Romantic-period themes with lucidity and responsible citation of other studies, though perhaps, in its discussions of Romanticism, more reliance on critical commentaries than documentary evidence from the Romantic period. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above. T. Hoagwood Texas A&M University

Author notes provided by Syndetics

<p> Lois Peters Agnew is an associate professor in the writing program at Syracuse University. She is the author of Outward, Visible Propriety: Stoic Philosophy and Eighteenth-Century British Rhetorics and co-editor of Landmark Essays in Aristotelian Rhetoric.<br> </p>

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