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Desiderius Erasmus of Rotterdam: On Copia of Words and Ideas
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Desiderius Erasmus of Rotterdam: On Copia of Words and Ideas

3.71 of 5 stars 3.71  ·  rating details  ·  21 ratings  ·  3 reviews
Paperback, 0 pages
Published October 1st 1963 by Marquette University Press (first published June 1963)
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A textbook on the canon of style from the discipline of Rhetoric. Erasmus has a sharp wit and likes to show it off. There is one section of the book with over 100 variations of the same sentence! Erasmus's summaries are very short, which makes it difficult to know exactly how to use the figure, and sometimes the terms get confusing, but the book is a very brief intro to a very interesting subject--eloquence.
You got to love a man who can say "I was pleased to receive your letter" for 8 straight single-spaced, no-paragraphed pages. And love him I do. Copia isn't just mindless "heaping" in any way--it's finding the "available means" of language. Even those wanting to be brief, as Erasmus points out in the last section, can first know what they COULD say before deciding what they WILL say. What a stud.
Originally written as a rhetoric textbook, Erasmus’ Copia “put[s] forward some ideas on copia, the abundant style … treating its two aspects of content and expression, and giving some examples and pattern” (295). In both his theory and his examples, Erasmus draws copiously from Quintilian and Cicero, “the great father of all eloquence” (297). He claims that learning the abundant style is the best way for students to learn brevity as well as copiousness, and that it is an especially appropriate s ...more
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Desiderius Erasmus (also known as Desiderius Erasmus Roterodamus) was doubtless born out of wedlock, well cared for by his parents till their early death, and then given the best education open to a young man of his day in a series of monastic or semi-monastic schools. All this early education is made by him in the light of later experience to appear like one long conspiracy to force him into the ...more
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