How does classical rhetoric relate to prose fiction?
November 2, 2014 2:23 PM   Subscribe

When I think of Wilde's or Dickens' prose, I think of classical rhetorical techniques such as paraprosdokian and chiasmus--and of course countless others. I'm looking for sources that analyze prose fiction--modern or canonical--according to models of classical rhetoric. Internet sources would be excellent, but I might spring for a hard-copy text if it's not too expensive. Thanks.
posted by jwhite1979 to Writing & Language (3 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Gifford's Ulysses Annotated has a special ~9 page appendix just for listing the rhetorical figures in the Aeolus chapter, which was intentionally based on them.

Farnsworth's Classical English Rhetoric illustrates many figures using examples drawn from 18th/19th C. literature, but it's not a sustained reading of a particular text.

Other than that, what comes to mind are modern critics strongly influenced by classical rhetoric in their close readings of texts: Barthes, Booth, Burke, and Richards.
posted by Monsieur Caution at 3:17 PM on November 2, 2014 [2 favorites]

Ha, I was just coming here to recommend Farnsworth! Excellent book.
posted by languagehat at 10:24 AM on November 3, 2014

On this recommendation I picked up the Farnsworth book. I'm 1/3 through it. It's terrific.
posted by jwhite1979 at 2:32 PM on November 4, 2014 [1 favorite]

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