You Got Style
· Pointed Takes on Style Delineated ·
September 28, 2005
· Summary Judgments: The Art of Middle Passages ·
That's my weblog theme, since as Geoffrey Hartman avers on my About page, "Style is an index of how the writer deals with the consciousness of mediation. Style is not cognitive only; it is also recognitive."
In some self-serving recognition of that view, I thought today to indicate two of my favorite YGS posts, and the text of my all-time favorite YGS passage. I'll try to be concise.
My two posts are easy:
So what's my favorite YGS passage? From Aldo Leopold: Good Oak, Good Cedar, Good History, this paragraph, marking the recurring struggle faced in one's occasionally crossing from an old place to a new:
Now I'll let you judge why so few words, happily indeed, matter so much to me today.Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)
September 15, 2005
· Wherein I Pick Up, Conservatively, Where I Left Off ·
Today I've just finished following Judge Roberts' confirmation hearings. Quite fascinating! You know their upshot: toe the straight line of judicial restraint, his supporters counseled, and let your feelings out, detractors begged. Lest you think the battle just a fight between conservatives and liberals, I thought to offer one good counterexample — one aptly invoking Kenneth Burke's thought within the context of the conservative Richard Weaver's rich work on rhetoric.
Weaver's essay, "The Phaedrus and the Nature of Rhetoric," provides my text. Analyzing Plato's love speeches in the dialogue — in Weaver's view, each standing in for throughtful language, rhetoric, and style — Weaver aptly judges of Lysias's praising nonlovers, Socrates' abusing impassioned lovers, and the Phaedrus at last advocating "noble" lovers. The first, vis-à-vis speech, falls for the neutral ideal of objectivity, the second for the sad extreme of impassioned subjectivity, and the third for the well-tempered reality of just eloquence. In that light, you might appreciate Weaver's conservatively pointed take on good dialogue — not only Platonic, but "senatorial."
Of course, where you see words like "theoretical," "scientific," or "nuclear" above, you can substitute the word "legal." Meanwhile, I do wish Judge — soon Chief Justice — Roberts the best. I'll be part of an American "attitude-finding committee" soon — one looking, in my Washington, for some "humanitarian afterthought."
By chance, President Bush has delivered himself, tonight, of such an "afterthought"; his end-of-summer speech given in New Orleans you can find here.Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)
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