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Analyzing Prose (Scribner English Series) First Edition Edition

3.7 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0023675607
ISBN-10: 0023675608
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Unlike most how-to books on essay writing, Lanham's leads the reader through an examination of different writers' texts, pinpointing stylistic devices one is not supposed to use if one aspires to effective communication. Recommended."" -Choice Magazine, Febraury 2004" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Richard Lanham is Professor Emeritus of English at UCLA, Los Angeles, USA --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Series: Scribner English Series
  • Hardcover: 255 pages
  • Publisher: Scribner; First Edition edition (March 1983)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0023675608
  • ISBN-13: 978-0023675607
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6.3 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,936,418 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I taught college writing classes for 17 years and have been an editor for a computer software company for nine. So far, Lanham's "Analyzing Prose" is the only completely reliable book about writing and language I have come across. It's not an easy book. As Lanham says, "We are simply not trained to look at the words on the page." And to read this book, you have to look at the words on the page. If you're up for the challenge, get this book. It won't be easy to find. It won't be cheap once you've found it. It won't be easy to read once you buy it. But as you realize how rewarding looking at words can be, really looking at them and not just through them, you will thank me over and over again for writing this review. And you will thank Richard Lanham over and over again for writing this splendid book.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a tremendous book that attempts to revive a now lost method for being deliberate about consuming and producing prose.

The couple of two-star reviews are missing the virtues of Analyzing Prose. This is not a rehash of Revising Prose at all. Revising Prose outlines the Paramedic Method, which is really major first aid for bloated dead-fish prose. He calls it the Paramedic Method for a reason.

Analyzing Prose is a practical extension of the arguments that Lanham develops in Style: An Anti-Textbook, which is also an amazing book. Analyzing Prose walks through various ways of classifying prose styles and as a result gives writers something to emulate and practice. Both of these books make the passionate plea to start to take real joy in words and language again, to reject the utilitarian and drab argument that says all prose must be clear, simple, and functional.

If you ever read a line of Shakespeare and marveled at his gorgeous and clever parallel constructions, and inversions; if you love the first few sentences of Lolita; if you noticed Abraham Lincoln's repetition at Gettysburg--"we can not dedicate -- we can not consecrate -- we can not hallow..."--then you will certainly appreciate this book, and appreciate all those others even more.
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A most difficult climb, as attention to detail is a must, and a cocktail of what looks like and is Greek confounds. However, chapter 9 rewards the climb, where a replacement for the pattern laid down by Aristotle is proposed, several tables that outline a broader and less judgmental classification for prose: not simply good or bad, factual or sophistry, but rather a range between dreaming, the ordinary, and drama, a range between lucid, ethical, and aesthetic, and how a writer or speaker or reader or listener may move between any of these, depending.

(There is a (brief) glossary of the Greek, and the author helpfully reminds the reader on occasion what the chiasmus and whatnot mean.)
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The book was listed to be in "very good" condition. It was not! All of the corners were bent or crushed and the cover looked well used. The seller did offer to take it back but I t was too late for me to return it since I needed it for my class. They would not give me an adjustment in price.
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