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Rhetoric of Irony

ISBN-10: 0226065537
ISBN-13: 9780226065533
Edition: Reprint 
Authors: Wayne C. Booth
List price: $34.00 Buy it from $11.89
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Description: Perhaps no other critical label has been made to cover more ground than "irony," and in our time irony has come to have so many meanings that by itself it means almost nothing. In this work, Wayne C. Booth cuts through the resulting confusions by  More...

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Book details

List price: $34.00
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Publication date: 8/15/1975
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 310
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.25" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.990
Language: English

Perhaps no other critical label has been made to cover more ground than "irony," and in our time irony has come to have so many meanings that by itself it means almost nothing. In this work, Wayne C. Booth cuts through the resulting confusions by analyzing how we manage to share quite specific ironies--and why we often fail when we try to do so. How does a reader or listener recognize the kind of statement which requires him to reject its "clear" and "obvious" meaning? And how does any reader know where to stop, once he has embarked on the hazardous and exhilarating path of rejecting "what the words say" and reconstructing "what the author means"? In the first and longer part of his work, Booth deals with the workings of what he calls "stable irony," irony with a clear rhetorical intent. He then turns to intended instabilities--ironies that resist interpretation and finally lead to the "infinite absolute negativities" that have obsessed criticism since the Romantic period. Professor Booth is always ironically aware that no one can fathom the unfathomable. But by looking closely at unstable ironists like Samuel Becket, he shows that at least some of our commonplaces about meaninglessness require revision. Finally, he explores--with the help of Plato--the wry paradoxes that threaten any uncompromising assertion that all assertion can be undermined by the spirit of irony.

Preface
Stable Irony
The Ways of Stable Irony
The Marks of Stable Irony
Stable Irony Compared with ""All Literature""
The Four Steps of Reconstruction
"" Ironic Readings as Knowledge Meaning and Significance
Stable Irony and Other Figures of Speech
Metaphor Allegory and Fable Puns
Stable Irony and Satire
Reconstructions and Judgments
Rival Metaphors
Advantages of ""Reconstruction""
Required Judgments
Some Pleasures and Pitfalls of Irony
Is It Ironic?
Clues to Irony
Straightforward Warnin

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