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The art of eloquence : Byron, Dickens, Tennyson, Joyce /
Matthew Bevis.
imprint
Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2007.
description
302 p. ; 24 cm.
ISBN
0199253994 (alk. paper), 9780199253999 (alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2007.
isbn
0199253994 (alk. paper)
9780199253999 (alk. paper)
catalogue key
6218576
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. [270]-291) and index.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
Matthew Bevis is a Lecturer in English Literature at the University of York.
Reviews
Review Quotes
A big subject and a brilliant book
A brilliantly conceived and executed book ... It is hard to over-praise the sweep and the depth of Bevis's research, or the delicacy and nuanced force of his close readings ... Bevis is a gifted new critical voice ... The Art of Eloquence is a major achievement, a tour de force that shows criticism can be an eloquent art.
A highly intelligent book ... Bevis is an exceptional reader at a time when all too many scholars prefer following an agenda to following the words ... He mounts a brilliant case on Dickens ... This is outstanding reading ... one of the most promising scholars and readers of a new generation
"Bevis articulates a powerful argument." -- James Joyce Quarterly
"Bevis articulates a powerful argument." --James Joyce Quarterly
"Bevis offers a satisfying, and sometimes remarkable, study that bridges the too-frequently separated fields of literary criticism and rhetorical history. With his description of a particular public attitude that promoted debate and deliberation and reached an apogee in the late nineteenth century, Bevis establishes a substantial connection between oratorical and literary traditions, and clarifies the degree to which rhetorical exercise had become a defining trait of the Victorian public. This reader, at least, found much in Bevis's book in engaging and insightful, and anticipates many others will as well."-Christopher K. Coffman, Rhetorical Review "By providing a fresh and cohesive context for these writers, Bevis offers an enriching, often illuminating discussion that deepens our understanding of their work and thei connections to the social and political milieu."- James Joyce Literary Supplement "Deeply researched, serves to remind us that oratory in some form was a broad presence in discourse until well into the twentieth century."- Studies in English Literature 1500-1900
Bevis's subject and his approach are of great value ... A refreshing and informative pleasure to read ... The flexible auditory tenacity of Bevis's ear for a quotation thoroughly sustains him ... the scholarship and sensitivity of reading in this book recommend it on every page.
Engaging and insightful...stimulating and innovative reading ...a satisfying, and sometimes remarkable, study...Bevis succeeds in offering something new to the field of literary criticism.
Fascinating...shows a breadth of interest, and a willingness to take risks, which is altogether admirable...such is the ambition of the project that only a sustained performance of rhetorical judgement and a first-rate ear would be able to carry the argument through...Bevis's study is carried off so well, with such a combination of useful information and readerly panache, that one is not just surprised but glad that it has not been done before.
"IfThe Art of Eloquencehas a manifesto, it is in showing how to read contextually, with the illumination provided by contemporary political debate, without sacrificing in the process really close reading that pays attention to the sounds and structures of language." --The Wordsworth Circle "Bevis articulates a powerful argument." --James Joyce Quarterly
Impressive contextual research...accompanied by a close attention to linguistic and stylistic features...the book is full of insightful readings...Valuable and thought-provoking
Meticulously researched...sharp-eared and eagle-eyed...like those that he follows so intimately, scrupulously, beguilingly, Bevis comes in at an angle, listening out for the nuance of a phrase...The book's disinclination to engage in reductive demagoguery constitutes its own eloquent intervention in literary studies...There is much to be valued in this study, not only for its subject, but also its style.
Packed with intelligent and nuanced close readings... informed by solid historical detail...Bevis is excellent at linking historical developments with linguistic change...Bevis's capable handling of his material is testament to the breadth and liveliness of wit and intelligence informing the book as a whole.
This study is admirable in a great many respects...a skilled and subtle literary scholar...Bevis draws together the relevant threads to provide a firm argumentative grounding for his own keen-eyed readings of the texts.
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Summaries
Bowker Data Service Summary
Bevis considers how Byron, Dickens, Tennyson, and Joyce, and their publics, conceived the relations between public speaking and literary expression. By drawing upon a wide range of sources he argues that oratorical procedures and languages were formative influences on literary culture from Romanticism to Modernism.
Main Description
'In the course of these fifty years we have become a nation of public speakers. Everyone speaks now. We are now more than ever a debating, that is, a Parliamentary people' (The Times, 1873). The Art of Eloquence considers how Byron, Dickens, Tennyson, and Joyce responded to this 'Parliamentary people', and examines the ways in which they and their publics conceived the relations between political speech and literary endeavour. Drawing on a wide range of sources - classical rhetoric, Hansard, newspaper reports, elocutionary manuals, treatises on crowd theory - this book argues that oratorical procedures and languages were formative influences on literary culture from Romanticism to Modernism. Matthew Bevis focuses attention on how the four writers negotiated contending political demands in and through their work, and on how they sought to cultivate forms of literary detachment that could gain critical purchase on political arguments. Providing a close reading of the relations betweenprinted words and public voices as well as a broader engagement with debates about the socio-political inflections of the aesthetic realm, this is a major study of how styles of writing can explore and embody forms of responsible political conduct.
Main Description
'In the course of these fifty years we have become a nation of public speakers. Everyone speaks now. We are now more than ever a debating, that is, a Parliamentary people' (The Times, 1873). The Art of Eloquenceconsiders how Byron, Dickens, Tennyson, and Joyce responded to this 'Parliamentary people', and examines the ways in which they and their publics conceived the relations between political speech and literary endeavour. Drawing on a wide range of sources - classical rhetoric, Hansard, newspaper reports, elocutionary manuals, treatises on crowd theory - this book argues that oratorical procedures and languages were formative influences on literary culture from Romanticism to Modernism. Matthew Bevis focuses attention on how the four writers negotiated contending political demands in and through their work, and on how they sought to cultivate forms of literary detachment that could gain critical purchase on political arguments. Providing a close reading of the relations between printed words and public voices as well as a broader engagement with debates about the socio-political inflections of the aesthetic realm, this is a major study of how styles of writing can explore and embody forms of responsible political conduct.
Table of Contents
Abbreviationsp. viii
Introduction: Literary Persuasionsp. 1
Disinterested Partiesp. 1
Debating Societiesp. 15
Byron's Hearingp. 29
Question, Questionp. 29
Forms of Addressp. 39
The Eloquence of Actionp. 49
Poetic Justicep. 59
On Second Thoughtsp. 74
An Audience with Dickensp. 86
Addressing the Timesp. 86
Plotting Talkp. 100
Honourable Gentlemenp. 111
Bringing the House Downp. 130
Tennyson and Sound Judgementp. 145
Measured Languagep. 145
Testing Voicesp. 157
A Civil Tonguep. 172
The Tone of Empirep. 188
Joyce's Breathing Spacep. 204
Governing the Tonguep. 204
Crowd Troublep. 214
Stephen's Heroesp. 227
House Rulesp. 242
Coda: An Eyed Earp. 263
Bibliographyp. 270
Indexp. 293
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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