- Copertina flessibile: 268 pagine
- Editore: Perennial; 4 Reprint edizione (dicembre 2001)
- Lingua: Inglese
- ISBN-10: 0060937238
- ISBN-13: 978-0060937232
- Peso di spedizione: 249 g
- Media recensioni: 5.0 su 5 stelle Visualizza tutte le recensioni (1 recensione cliente)
- Posizione nella classifica Bestseller di Amazon: n. 147.405 in Libri in altre lingue (Visualizza i Top 100 nella categoria Libri in altre lingue)
Simple & Direct (Inglese) Copertina flessibile – dic 2001
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Born in France in 1907, Jacques Barzun came to the United States in 1920. After graduating from Columbia College, he joined the faculty of the university, becoming Seth Low Professor of History and, for a decade, Dean of Faculties and Provost. The author of some thirty books, including the New York Times bestseller From Dawn to Decadence, he received the Gold Medal for Criticism from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, of which he was twice president. He lived in San Antonio, Texas, before passing away at age 104.
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As to another review, modern linguistic research has little to do with learning to produce a composition in English? Additonally in that review, the not-so-thinly veiled ad hominem attack on Barzun as being "pompous" and "nasty" has little to do with the merits of the book and do not constitute a review.
I certainly recommend the book for some excellent insight on how to write properly. Be prepared to work at it a bit, but that's as it should be; correct English writing requires some effort.
Some of the topics covered in SIMPLE & DIRECT are:
DICTION, or Which Word to Use. LINKING, or What to Put Next. TONE AND TUNE, or What Impression Will It Make? MEANING, or What do I Want to Say? COMPOSITION, or How Does It All Hang Together? REVISION, or What Have I Actually Said?
"Writing", the author says, "can only be self-taught.". This excellent little book will give you a practical, down-to-earth way to teach yourself how to write better.
The author, Jacques Barzun, was born in France, and died recently in El Paso, Texas. He has written several best-selling books, such as THE CULTURE WE DESERVE and FROM DAWN TO DECADENCE, both of which I own and value very highly.
This book is a must read every few years if you are a writer. It's not in most curriculums for some reason so it makes a great gift for high school or college age people interested in writing.
I wish more people would read this book then the world wouldn't be as full of crap writing as it woefully is.
In print for a quarter of a century (updated with a fourth edition in 2001), the book is a "handbook for whoever wants to conquer some of the permanent difficulties of writing prose".
Barzun recognises this challenge upfront: "Writing always presents problems, dilemmas, some of which beset all writers, even great ones; but there is no need to be baffled by all the difficulties every time you write."
The book is hard going at first because of the detailed explanations but once you grasp how he has broken English into its basic elements and then combines them it's difficult to put "Simple and Direct" down.
Barzun can be didactic but his gentle wit makes up for finger wagging. For instance on diction: "But his real interest lay elsewhere than the Court of George II." Barzun notes: "It turns out on further reading that his real interest (singular) did lie at the court; it was one of the ladies-in-waiting; but his real interests (plural), meaning what would be better for his fortune, lay in his country estate."
Finding the right tone can be torture. Barzun's advice: "The best tone is the tone called plain, unaffected, unadorned. It does not talk down or jazz up ... it does not try to dazzle or cajole the indifferent; it takes no posture of coziness or sophistication. It is the most difficult of all tones, also the most adaptable. When you can write plain you can trust yourself in special effects."
Structuring your writing for maximum interest and flow is challenging. His remedy: make a quick "shorthand" outline of your draft using a key word (or key words) for each paragraph. It helps disentangle your meaning and more effectively order your ideas.
This is one of the better books on writing and style. It's a useful companion to gems like "Elements of Style" (William Strunk Jr and E B White) and "Newsman's English" (Harold Evans) - revised in a modern edition as "Essential English".
"Simple and Direct" is a rewarding read for those determined to write better -- with economy, clarity, vigour -- and, most importantly, to be understood.