The Gift of the Gab: How Eloquence Works [EPUB]
24 January 2017, 17:04
2016 | EPUB | 2.87MB
A many-faceted exploration of spoken eloquence: how it works, how it has evolved, and how to tap its remarkable power
We all know eloquence when we hear it. But what exactly is it? And how might we gain more of it for ourselves? This entertaining and, yes, eloquent book illuminates the power of language from a linguistic point of view and provides fascinating insights into the way we use words. David Crystal, a world-renowned expert on the history and usage of the English language, probes the intricate workings of eloquence. His lively analysis encompasses everyday situations (wedding speeches, business presentations, storytelling) as well as the oratory of great public gatherings.
Crystal focuses on the here and now of eloquent speaking—from pitch, pace, and prosody to jokes, appropriateness, and how to wield a microphone. He explains what is going on moment by moment and examines each facet of eloquence. He also investigates topics such as the way current technologies help or hinder our verbal powers, the psychological effects of verbal excellence, and why certain places or peoples are thought to be more eloquent than others. In the core analysis of the book, Crystal offers an extended and close dissection of Barack Obama’s electrifying “Yes we can” speech of 2008, in which the president demonstrated full mastery of virtually every element of eloquence—from the simple use of parallelism and an awareness of what not to say, to his brilliant conclusion constructed around two powerful words: dreams and answers.
Cultural Amnesia: Notes in the Margin of My Time [EPUB]
24 January 2017, 10:23
2008 | EPUB | 6.25MB
‘In this book can be heard the merest edge of an enormous conversation. As they never were in life, we can imagine the speakers all gathered in some vast room, wearing name tags in case they don’t recognize each other (although some recognize each other all too well, and avoid contact). My heroes and heroines are here. The reader will recognize some of their names, while other names will be more obscure. My intellectual betes noires are here too, and the same division might apply.’
An almanac combining a comprehensive survey of modern culture with an annotated index of who-was-who and what-was-what, Cultural Amnesia is Clive James’ unique take on the places and the faces that shaped the twentieth-century. From Anna Akhmatova to Stefan Zweig, via Charles de Gaulle, Hitler, Thomas Mann and Wittgenstein, this varied and unfailingly absorbing book is both story and history, both public memoir and personal record – and provides an essential field-guide to the vast movements of taste, intellect, politics and delusion that helped to prepare the times we live in now.
The Meaning of Herbs: Myth, Language & Lore [EPUB]
22 January 2017, 03:08
2015 | EPUB | 7.98MB
"Take borage for courage. Send a bouquet of yarrow to declare war. Hang a sprig of rue at the door to keep witches at bay."
Like flowers, herbs are steeped in myth and magic, secrets and lore. For centuries, their powers have been called upon to seduce lovers and dispel witches, send hidden messages and brew potent elixirs, entice the palate and soothe the mind. Illustrated with enchanting collages by acclaimed artist Ann Field, this delightful tribute to the meaning and magic of herbs offers a contemporary introduction to an age-old tradition.
The text draws on botanical, mythological, and historical sources worldwide, from ancient Rome to Victorian England, from Asia to the Americas, presenting profiles of over 50 herbs favored through the ages. Blending fact, folktale, natural history, and original art, The Meaning of Herbs explores the language and lore of nature's most versatile and powerful gifts.