Bringing together essays that span the career of I.A. Richards--as both literary critic and pedagogue--this collection provides a much-needed re-introduction to a thinker whose works have been largely neglected of late. Carefully chosen, edited, and annotated, the selections make accessible a wide array of Richards's ideas on language and learning, focusing on his discussion of literacy, his critique of positivist linguistics, his explorations of C.S. Peirce's semiotics, and his theory of translation, which led not only to his well-known analysis of the structure and foundation of metaphor but to one of the earliest and most cogent formulations of reader-response theory. Berthoff's editing eliminates the distracting elements of Richards's style--the digressions and obscure allusions that have often hindered readers, and have in part contributed to the neglect his work has met with in recent years--while identifying and illuminating the chief principles of his critical thought and practice. Organized in four parts--Practical Criticism, The Philosophy of Rhetoric, The Meaning of Meaning, and Design for Escape--the book offers a lucid introduction to Richards's writings, with valuable headnotes to each section and a unique index of "speculative instruments" that examines the principal ideas Richards thought with. Readers are certain to find this volume essential to an understanding of Richards's "practical criticism," and invaluable in sharpening and re-directing their own thoughts on current linguistic practice, literary criticism, and educational theory.
"A major accomplishment. Berthoff has provided access to one of the more complex and fruitful thinkers on language in the twentieth century....Makes it less likely that we will lose sight of a pivotal and crucial figure in twentieth-century rhetoric."--Journal of Advanced Composition "Richards is arguably the most important...theorist in the history of composition/rhetoric....Berthoff vigorously and colorfully represents an important cluster of related theories and teaching practices."--College Composition and Communication "The selection presents Richards as indeed a thinker who deserves to be taken seriously in his contribution to rhetoric and who deserves to be read. Berthoff's book is a good means to this end."--Virginia Quarterly Review "Reveals a complex yet surprisingly clear view of language and learning that has far-reaching implications for all teachers of writing and literature....These selections should stimulate thoughtful re-examinations of our own positions on the important issues Richards addresses."--Freshman English News "An excellent edition for my students in the rhetorical theory course....A masterpiece of primary material for the undergraduate student."--Glenn Smith, University of Central Arkansas "Its arrival is timely....The selections are significant contributions to current theory and practice."--David B. Merrell, Abilene Christian University "Important for anyone concerned with structuralism, semiotics, reader response theory, or hermeneutics."--Gene Doty, University of Missouri, Rolla "It would be impossible to overemphasize how judiciously Berthoff has edited and configured the texts of Richards on Rhetoric. It is not a book for casual reading, but for reading and rereading--an effort which is well repaid."--Semiotica
Number Of Pages: 304
Published: 1st November 1990
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.44 x 15.57 x 2.11
Weight (kg): 0.43
Edition Type: Annotated