Harper and Row Rhetoric: Writing as Thinking, Thinking as by Wayne C. Booth, Marshall W. Gregory

By Wayne C. Booth, Marshall W. Gregory

Textbook on utilizing writing to imagine greater. Many exemplary passages.

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Extra info for Harper and Row Rhetoric: Writing as Thinking, Thinking as Writing

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An extreme example would be the South African official who privately abhors apartheid, but who publicly administers that law, because it is the law. In the United States, we find governors who say their private belief is that abortion is wrong, but who swear publicly to execute laws that administer the practice. Politicians then should choose their saints carefully. More (s> gave up his life rather than separate his conscience from his public acts. His conscience was not a convenience. If Thomas More's tragic death teaches the modern world anything, it is that conscience is the same, public and private.

In a sense, the words on the paper are the person: Few readers ever have access to an author's character beyond the words on a page. Part of your power as a writer thus will lie in your ability to create, or discover, a version of yourself appropriate to the purposes, the persuasive strategies, and the design of a given writing task. When you have done so, when you sound like a real person with an identifiable character talking about a topic that you find genuinely interesting, you will have achieved what many people call voice (Chapter 9), a distinctiveness of utterance that can be modulated and expressed in many different tones (Chapter 10).

In the end, then, the answers to the seven questions do not exist outside an essay but are embodied in it. The essay's inten tion, arguments, design, tone, and voice are the essay. But every writer needs some way of approaching these important issues without becoming paralyzed. Our seven questions thus are not a formula for "how to write," but a way of reminding ourselves of the kinds of issues that at some point we will have to confront and resolve in order to bring our task to completion. 34 2 / Writing as a craft: Making choices Seven fundamental questions 1.

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