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    Clear and Simple as the Truth: Writing Classic Prose (Paperback) By (author) Francis-Noel Thomas, By (author) Mark Turner

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    DescriptionFor more than a decade, Clear and Simple as the Truth has guided readers to consider style not as an elegant accessory of effective prose but as its very heart. Francis-Noel Thomas and Mark Turner present writing as an intellectual activity, not a passive application of verbal skills. In classic style, the motive is truth, the purpose is presentation, the reader and writer are intellectual equals, and the occasion is informal. This general style of presentation is at home everywhere, from business memos to personal letters and from magazine articles to student essays. Everyone talks about style, but no one explains it. The authors of this book do; and in doing so, they provoke the reader to consider style, not as an elegant accessory of effective prose, but as its very heart. At a time when writing skills have virtually disappeared, what can be done? If only people learned the principles of verbal correctness, the essential rules, wouldn't good prose simply fall into place? Thomas and Turner say no. Attending to rules of grammar, sense, and sentence structure will no more lead to effective prose than knowing the mechanics of a golf swing will lead to a hole-in-one. Furthermore, ten-step programs to better writing exacerbate the problem by failing to recognize, as Thomas and Turner point out, that there are many styles with different standards. The book is divided into four parts. The first, "Principles of Classic Style," defines the style and contrasts it with a number of others. "The Museum" is a guided tour through examples of writing, both exquisite and execrable. "The Studio," new to this edition, presents a series of structured exercises. Finally, "Further Readings in Classic Prose" offers a list of additional examples drawn from a range of times, places, and subjects. A companion website, classicprose.com, offers supplementary examples, exhibits, and commentary, and features a selection of pieces written by students in courses that used Clear and Simple as the Truth as a textbook.


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  • Full bibliographic data for Clear and Simple as the Truth

    Title
    Clear and Simple as the Truth
    Subtitle
    Writing Classic Prose
    Authors and contributors
    By (author) Francis-Noel Thomas, By (author) Mark Turner
    Physical properties
    Format: Paperback
    Number of pages: 272
    Width: 137 mm
    Height: 213 mm
    Thickness: 23 mm
    Weight: 363 g
    Language
    English
    ISBN
    ISBN 13: 9780691147437
    ISBN 10: 0691147434
    Classifications

    Warengruppen-Systematik des deutschen Buchhandels: 15710
    B&T Book Type: NF
    BIC language qualifier (language as subject) V2: 2AB
    BIC E4L: EDU
    B&T Modifier: Region of Publication: 01
    B&T Modifier: Subject Development: 20
    B&T Modifier: Academic Level: 01
    BIC subject category V2: JNZ, CBW
    B&T General Subject: 480
    LC subject heading:
    Ingram Subject Code: LA
    Libri: I-LA
    Nielsen BookScan Product Class 3: S3.8T
    LC subject heading:
    DC22: 808.042
    LC subject heading:
    B&T Approval Code: A21800000
    BISAC V2.8: LAN015000
    DC22: 808/.042
    LC subject heading:
    BISAC V2.8: REF026000
    LC subject heading:
    B&T Merchandise Category: UP
    LC subject heading:
    BISAC V2.8: LAN005000
    BIC subject category V2: 2AB
    LC classification: PE1408 .T4155 2011
    DC23: 808.042
    Thema V1.0: CJCW, CBW, JNZ
    Edition
    2, Revised
    Edition statement
    2nd Revised edition
    Illustrations note
    1 line illus.
    Publisher
    Princeton University Press
    Imprint name
    Princeton University Press
    Publication date
    20 March 2011
    Publication City/Country
    New Jersey
    Author Information
    Francis-Noel Thomas is professor emeritus of humanities at Truman College, City Colleges of Chicago. Mark Turner is Institute Professor and professor of cognitive science at Case Western Reserve University.
    Review quote
    Winner of the 1996 Prix du Rayonnement de la langue et de la litterature franaises, Academie franaise "[I]n the hands of a good instructor and students who have a solid foundation in writing, the book could be quite empowering."--Choice "[T]his book has value for the technical communicator who has an interest in style, and teachers who teach style in their classes. Thomas and Turner are right about the current crop of books that essentially ignore this way of writing, and their discussion of styles can be valuable to a fuller understanding of the relationship between thought and dress."--Tom Warren, Technical Communication Praise for the first edition: "Whether they can spark a revival in classic writing is uncertain, but Thomas and Turner serve their topic well. A good choice for the serious stylist and those learning the craft."--Library Journal Praise for the first edition: "Thomas and Turner engagingly delineate the attributes of a classic style of writing... In the second half, Thomas and Turner cite examples of classic style in excerpts from the writing of well-known literary figures."--Booklist Praise for the first edition: "Every once in a while a book comes along with the power to alter permanently the view of a subject you thought you knew well. For me this year, that book is Clear and Simple as the Truth."--Denis Dutton, Philosophy and Literature Praise for the first edition: "[For] the mature student, this is indeed a classic. For the connoisseur, it is indispensable."--Thomas D'Evelyn, Boston Book Review Praise for the first edition: "An acclaimed new reference manual."--The Chicago Sun Times
    Back cover copy
    Praise for the first edition: "["Clear and Simple as the Truth"] has changed the way that I write and think about writing."--Paul Bloom, Yale UniversityPraise for the first edition: "Far and away the best how-to-write book I've ever read. It puts Strunk and White and everyone else in the shade."--John E. Talbott, University of California, Santa BarbaraPraise for the first edition: "Thanks to Thomas and Turner, the cognitive revolution has finally caught up with the analysis of style--brilliantly, learnedly, and, above all, readably."--David Lee Rubin, University of VirginiaPraise for the first edition: ""Clear and Simple as the Truth" holds the promise of raising the level of the nation's prose.... The book is full of cogency and insight."--Frederick CrewsPraise for the first edition: "A work of great intellectual elegance and power. I have read it with a lot of pleasure, admiring the wisdom and economy of its reflections and the extraordinary range of its citations."--Claude Rawson, Yale UniversityPraise for the first edition: "A treatment of the classic style that manifests the virtues of the writing it propounds, expounds, and exemplifies in a wealth of fascinating passages, brilliantly analyzed."--M. H. Abrams, Cornell UniversityPraise for the first edition: "Could well be the most important discussion of style since the great classical rhetoricians."--Wayne C. Booth, University of ChicagoPraise for the first edition: "One of the best discussions of style that I have recently read."--Richard Preston, author of "The Hot Zone"Praise for the first edition: "The authors give one of the best discussions of style that I have ever read. Thomas and Turner juxtapose conventionally thought of as disparate, and thereby suggest possible new avenues of interpretation for critics of individual authors. "Clear and Simple as the Truth" occupies a niche of its own, as a kind of hybrid between books on writing such as "The Elements of Style" and "The Reader over Your Shoulder," and more theoretical studies of representation, such as "Mimesis.""--Richard Preston, author of "American Steel"
    Table of contents
    Acknowledgments vii Clear and Simple as the Truth 1 Chapter One: Principles of Classic Style 5 The Concept of Style 7 Recognizing Classic Style 12 The Elements of Style 17 The Classic Stand on the Elements of Style 24 Truth 24 Presentation 32 Scene 37 Cast 45 Thought and Language 57 Other Stands, Other Styles 66 Trade Secrets 97 Envoi: Style Is Not Etiquette 10 Chapter Two: The Museum 107 Chapter Three: The Studio 187 Introduction 189 Fundamentals: Talk First 189 Fundamentals: Write Second 212 Advanced Writing 215 Conclusion 227 Chapter Four: Further Readings in Classic Prose 229 Notes 239 Index 253