Style: an Antitextbook MOBI Õ Style: an Kindle -

Style: an Antitextbook MOBI Õ Style: an Kindle -

Style: an Antitextbook ❴Download❵ ➵ Style: an Antitextbook Author Richard A. Lanham – “A necessary manual for those interested in the perpetuation and the possibilities of good English prose”— Harper’s Magazine“Lanham’s style is notable for its audacity liveliness and grace “A necessary manual for those interested in the perpetuation and the possibilities of good English prose”— Harper’s Magazine“Lanham’s style is notable for its audacity liveliness and grace”— The Times Literary Supplement“The most applicably provocative book on the subject of prose style available Imperative reading for all teachers and students of writing”— ChoiceThis humorous and accessible classic on style calls for the return of wordplay and delight to writing instruction Richard Lanham argues that many tomes on writing with their trio of platitudes—clarity plainness sincerity—lie “upon the spirit like wet cardboard” Style: an Kindle - People seldom write to be clear They have designs on their fellow men Pure prose is as rare as pure virtue and for the same reasonsThe books Lanham’s term for misguided composition textbooks written for a man and world yet unfallen depict a ludicrous process like this 'I have an idea I want to present this gift to my fellow man I fix this thought clearly in mind I follow the rules Out comes a prose that gift wraps thought in transparent paper' If this sounds like a travesty it’s because it is one Yet it dominates prose instruction in America—from Chapter Richard A Lanham is professor emeritus of English at the University of California Los Angeles and president of Rhetorica Inc a consulting and editorial services company He is the author of numerous books on writing including A Handlist of Rhetorical Terms Analyzing Prose The Electronic Word and most recently The Economics of Attention.

10 thoughts on “Style: an Antitextbook

  1. Stephen Stephen says:

    A lucid and convincing argument against the long cherished and still maintained idea of clarity as the ideal state of prose Picking apart the very concept that prose in its perfected state is transparent as a windowpane in Orwell's example and should remain as unadorned as possible in order to let the concept behind it be visible Lanham makes a counterargument that prose exists on a continuum from the clear little embellishment etc to the opaue Although mainly directed at college level writing students and instructors the book is worthwhile to any student of writing

  2. Walter Walter says:

    I really liked the idea behind this book and I looked forward to seeing just what could fill an anti textbook What I discovered was that this particular anti textbook was filled with repetition and hatefulness The author spends a lot of time attacking others in very personal ways; this added nothing to his thesis and came over as sheer priggishness He keeps on beating dead horses throughout the book heaping scorn on pretty much everyone that is not Richard Lanham One particularly ugly scene was where he tore apart an undergrad's letter to his school paper Lanham's personal vitriol was out of proportion to the student's crimes against prose and was rather bizarreI was uestioning the author's sanity actually I found it torturous to read but kept plodding along in the hope that he might actually say SOMETHING about style In the end I don't think he said a single thing worth remembering I suggest this as a book to avoid

  3. Gary Gary says:

    Intellectual provocative; rather that low middle and high style he writes of translucent and opaue styles His reasoning is often fanciful and playful but those are the elements he proposes that current English lessons are missing I enjoyed it and I feel inspired to try to inject an element of play into my teaching

  4. James Naylor James Naylor says:

    A rousing defence of writing that seeks to charm entertain inspire and amuse Lanham pretty much eviscerates the view that the best style is that which is invisible and its associated belief that meaning somehow exists beyond the words that in the orthodox view are meant to reveal it mutely Within that prospectus however he is also very funny about the impoverished state of attention to the words of others as well as our own and especially convincing about the latent orality of writing If you don't read it out loud you don't really know what it says Literally indeed Other highlights include a withering analysis of the hieratical obscurantism of modern sociological writing and the observation that we oscillate in reading for meaning and hesitating on that threshold of meaning that is its stylistic packaging That's very Iain McGilchrist amongst other things

  5. Jeff Keehr Jeff Keehr says:

    I loved this book which is largely devoted to revising prose I still recall his wonderful term for describing wordy sentences lard factor I have never forgotten that lesson and to this day I will often remove at least a third of a uickly written sentence if I get a chance to revise it Great book

  6. Stijn Stijn says:

    Not a lie anti textbook maybe even anti book

  7. NLK NLK says:


  8. Eric Eric says:

    Richard Lanham's central argument in this polemical anti textbook is that style should take center stage as the self conscious focus of freshman composition courses As he puts it Style as visible self conscious opaue forms part of a curriculum whose center will be self consciousness whose rock bottom is an awareness of boundary conditions 132 As he makes his case Lanham explores and embodies various—and often opposing—positions in current controversies about “prose style” He presents advertising as both the death knell and the great hope of American style He deplores linguistics’ “disastrous influence on the teaching of writing” 67 but later claims that linguists’ “nomenclature comes as near a pedagogy for acuiring ‘an ear for English’ as anything today is likely to” 107 He mocks those who prophesy the death of style and himself proclaims its deathIn one sense Lanham’s rhetorical method is thus an apt reflection of his book’s content In Style’s sixth chapter Lanham argues against notions of a “central self” 124 Instead he sees the “adolescence” of college freshmen “as a time of role experiment A single self has not yet cohered” 116 And for these purported adolescents “to play with styles is to play with roles” 124 Lanham’s euivocating thus echoes the imitative experimental purpose he sees style serving for composition students In a sense his perspectives on selfhood—the lack of a central self and language’s role in both constructing and restricting a fragmented self—align him with theorists from Derrida to Judith Butler What can be off putting about his particular argument however is that he seems to place himself outside of his own restrictive system

  9. David Kellogg David Kellogg says:

    This is the second edition of a book first published by Yale University Press in 1974 Some of its examples are curiously dated now especially in its treatment of the street speech of the time But the book holds up and its arguments are as necessary as ever As Lanham sees it the teaching of writing has stressed clarity and content and has made style effectively invisible and thus unteachable For the traditional taxonomies of style such as high middle low Lanham created a spectrum of possibilities between transparent the clear style which hides itself and opaue the style which demands to be noticed This is a theme he elaborated in a much comprehensive later book Analyzing Prose so if you want a full treatment of that you'll have to to turn to that book Here he crafts a set of essays against the dominant assumptions of writing instruction and makes a persistent and I think needed plea for style as the proper subject of a college composition course He wants to develop copiousness in the sense meant by ancient rhetoric and later by Erasmus Lanham's own style is uotable and funny Passages like the following are delightful The art of translation that any teacher performs when she corrects a paper is essentially satirical She is ridiculing pretense revealing a simplified and usually demeaning reality behind it This satire a student must learn to perpetrate on his own prose and his own self Both yield the same comic awareness of self and the limitations of self Readers hoping for a straightforward guide to writing or even teaching will be left disappointed Readers who enjoy a rich uirky and committed approach to the subject will be well served

  10. Adam Adam says:

    Lanham in hilariously witty clear prose outlines the problems of modern prose teaching His perspective gave me new insight into what prose writing is and what it does and what we should strive for when doing it Most of all however he brought home to me how bad I am we all are speaking for most of peers at it and that college will not solve that problem for me Lanham criticizes the unhelpful dictum to be clear echoed in most modern writing texts and courses He argues that this advice coming from academics who indulge in horrifically unclear prose is hypocritical and further misleading there is no such thing as perfect clarity in writing This misconception of thought as distinct from prose has underdeveloped our generation's clarity of thought as much as our clarity of prose Thinking and writing go hand in hand; if you write clearly you will think clearly and vice versa All prose takes an implicit attitude towards its subject and towards its reader and it is awareness of these attitudes that Lanham stresses He recommends wide reading of course and reading at a pace that allows you to appreciate the meaning as well as the style of the prose He insists that prose must be taught as something to be enjoyed something playful in order that it be written well He further stresses reading prose aloud in order to understand its natural rhythm and thus write rhythmical appealing prose

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *