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Selected Essays on Rhetoric


Thomas De Quincey Edited with a Critical Introduction by Frederick Burwick Foreward by David Potter

Publication Year: 2010

Burwick brings five previously published essays by De Quincey--Rhetoric, Style, Language, Conversation, and Greek Literature--together again in this volume, intro­ducing them by tracing the sources and development of a belletristic theory of rhetoric.  Mr. Burwick makes the edition complete with a comprehensive index and a selected bibliography.

Published by: Southern Illinois University Press

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pp. v-vii

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pp. xi-xlviii

From the Confession of an English Opium-Eater, published in 1821 at the very beginning of his literary career, to the English Mail-Coach, composed in 1849 when that career was drawing to a close, Thomas De Quincey contributed to English literature some of the finest prose ever written in the language. The same sensitivity...

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pp. 81-133

No art cultivated by man has suffered more in the revolution of taste and opinion than the art of Rhetoric. There was a time when, by an undue extension of this term, it designated the whole cycle of accomplishments which prepared a man for public affairs. From that height it has descended to a level with the arts of alchemy and astrology...

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pp. 134-245

Amongst the never-ending arguments for thankfulness in the privilege of a British birth--arguments more solemn even than numerous, and telling more when weighed than when counted, pondere quam numero--three aspects there are of our national character which trouble the uniformity of our feelings. A good son, even in such a case, is not at liberty...

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pp. 246-263

No language is stationary, except in rude and early periods of society. The languages of nations like the English and French, walking in the van of civilization, having popular institutions, and taking part in the business of the earth with morbid energy, are placed under the actions of causes that will not allow them any respite ...

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pp. 264-289

Amongst the arts connected with the elegancies of social life in a degree which nobody denies is the Art of Conversation; but in a degree which almost everybody denies, if one may judge by their neglect of its simple rules, this same art is not less connected with the uses of social life. Neither the luxury...

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A Brief Appraisal of the Greek Literature in its Foremost Pretensions

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pp. 290-341

No question has been coming up at intervals for reconsideration more frequently than that which respects the comparative pretensions of Pagan (viz. Greek and Roman) Literature on the one side, and Modern (that is, the Literature of Christendom) on the other. Being brought uniformly before unjust tribunals...

Selected Bibliography

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pp. 342-345


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pp. 346-352

Back Cover

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E-ISBN-13: 9780809386055
E-ISBN-10: 0809386054
Print-ISBN-13: 9780809329755
Print-ISBN-10: 0809329751

Page Count: 320
Publication Year: 2010