A Rhetoric of Irony (Phoenix Books) by Wayne C. Booth

By Wayne C. Booth

Might be no different serious label has been made to hide extra flooring than "irony," and in our time irony has come to have such a lot of meanings that on its own it ability virtually not anything. during this paintings, Wayne C. sales space cuts in the course of the ensuing confusions via reading how we be ready to proportion fairly particular ironies—and why we regularly fail once we try and achieve this. How does a reader or listener realize the type of assertion which calls for him to reject its "clear" and "obvious" that means? and the way does any reader understand the place to forestall, as soon as he has launched into the harmful and exhilarating direction of rejecting "what the phrases say" and reconstructing "what the writer means"?In the 1st and longer a part of his paintings, sales space bargains with the workings of what he calls "stable irony," irony with a transparent rhetorical cause. He then turns to meant instabilities—ironies that withstand interpretation and eventually bring about the "infinite absolute negativities" that experience obsessed feedback because the Romantic period.Professor sales space is usually mockingly conscious that nobody can fathom the unfathomable. yet by way of having a look heavily at risky ironists like Samuel Becket, he indicates that a minimum of a few of our commonplaces approximately meaninglessness require revision. ultimately, he explores—with assistance from Plato—the wry paradoxes that threaten any uncompromising statement that every one statement might be undermined through the spirit of irony.

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V But belief in the distincinfers, rightly or wrongly, that his author intends. Rhetorically speaktion underlies many efforts to make the humanities and social studies ing, it makes no difference whether we think of these norms as being quantitative and hence, presumably, scientific. intri nsic or extrinsic. In short, the debate between the objective critics There may be a way in which our certainty about Lancaster's who want the work of art to be autonomous and other kinds of critics ironic intent could be rendered into strictly experimental or analytical who want to relate it to values in life outside the work is irrelevant here language, but I doubt it-too many of the inferences on which it is - at least for a time.

1 Some sections are "unquestionably" so, as stable as the most direct thrust of a Swift or pope: " . . whether we dare abandon ourselves with a clear conscience to rejoicing over the audacious pen strokes of recent philosophic investigators" (p. 194). Others that do not in themselves look clearly ironic become so when one understands the general run of Kierkegaard's arguments against Hegel's reading of Socrates: "One statement of Hegel expresses quite simply but with much pregnancy of thought how the daimonic is to be understood" (p.

It was like a page out of The Invasion from that people could feel so remote from the current of probabilities as take my tale for literal fact. .. The disorientation from reality this misreading indicates is frighte ning. "l~ "Today- Augu st 1, 1951-the Nylon War enters upon the th month since the United States began aU-out bombing of the Union with consumer's goods . " No reader is helpless with a pri text when he has this kind of fact that can be checked-if checking necessary. Even if a reader felt that he had not been keeping up events closely enough and had missed the "war," he has only to to the library to see what did , in fact, happen in August 1951.

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