By Wayne C. Booth
Probably 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 potential nearly not anything. during this paintings, Wayne C. sales space cuts throughout the ensuing confusions through examining how we be ready to proportion really particular ironies—and why we frequently 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" which means? and the way does any reader recognize the place to prevent, as soon as he has launched into the unsafe and exhilarating course 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 purpose. He then turns to meant instabilities—ironies that withstand interpretation and at last bring about the "infinite absolute negativities" that experience obsessed feedback because the Romantic interval.
Professor sales space is usually sarcastically conscious that not anyone can fathom the unfathomable. yet via having a look heavily at risky ironists like Samuel Becket, he exhibits that at the least a few of our commonplaces approximately meaninglessness require revision. eventually, he explores—with the aid of Plato—the wry paradoxes that threaten any uncompromising statement that every one statement could be undermined via the spirit of irony.
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Extra info for A Rhetoric of Irony
Those who under-read and those who over-read will usually think of themselves as good readers. The critic who asks us to ironize our straight readings may seem to be corrupting a beloved object and repudiating our very souls. 7 All of us who love irony are likely to destroy other men's sacred objects with the same error, as I labored to destroy the pleasures of deer-hunting for my student. For reasons that are now obvious, most readers have a moral feeling about right interpretation. " If other readers don't things my way, they ought to.
Mon pere qui avait servi .. " (p. 1 62 I ast for the moment-allow violations of an unstated logical law : if ~ is greater than B, in a given dimension, B cannot be greater than A 'n that same dimension, provided we keep our definitions univocal. We ~n the ironic com unity here are thus a crowd of arrant dogmatists, J ven as we sav~ ce's underrninings of other dogmatists. Dramatic irony. rama has always been especially given to effects e depending on the au or's providing, early in the play, information that will point to an ironic effect later on.
A . " Praise of Folly-The Dunciad-"Memoirs of Martinus and e motive, or "pseudo"-statements (like poetry) , in Science and Poetry Scriblerus"_And so on. don, 1935). For an extended discussion of the destructiveness of this I when used uncritically, see my forthcoming Modern Dogma and th e Rh etoric Assent (Notre Dame and Chicago, 1974). One of the great mysteries of mode intellectu al life is the survival of this distinction even thou gh it has been cisively" refuted by professionals in field afte r fie ld.