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Out of Style: Reanimating Stylistic Study in Composition and Rhetoric

by Paul Butler

Utah State University Press, 2008

ISBNs

Paper: 978-0-87421-679-0

eISBN: 978-0-87421-680-6

About the Book
Paul Butler applauds the emerging interest in the study of style among scholars of rhetoric and composition, arguing that the loss of stylistics from composition in recent decades left it alive only in the popular imagination as a set of grammar conventions. Butler’s goal in Out of Style is to articulate style as a vital and productive source of invention, and to redefine its importance for current research, theory, and pedagogy.
    Scholars in composition know that the ideas about writing most common in the discourse of public intellectuals are egregiously backward. Without a vital approach to stylistics, Butler argues, writing studies will never dislodge the controlling fantasies of self-authorized pundits in the nation’s intellectual press. Rhetoric and composition must answer with a public discourse that is responsive to readers’ ongoing interest in style but is also grounded in composition theory.
Reviews
By offering a strategic counter reading of our discipline's history, Out of Style undertakes a much needed rehabilitation of style for scholars and teachers in rhetoric and composition. What's especially promising here is Butler's closing argument--namely, that through style, scholars in our field can find a needed entry into public discussions about writing and can influence how our work gets represented in public discourses.

Frank Farmer
Conger-Gabel Professor of English
University of Kansas

[Butler] argues that a reanimation of style would not only help form better writing, but would also reanimate invention. And in the process he reinvigorates a history that is dynamic, a Golden Age of Comp. . . . A consciousness of style, of learning about, developing an affinity for, and teaching style will give us a way to counter public arguments against what we do, for we are constantly criticized. . . . This is a call for us to be stylin in public discourse.

Victor Villanueva
Chair of English, Auburn University
College Composition and Communication, 62.4


Chapter two, “Historical Developments: Relevant Stylistic History and Theory,” is an especially important chapter for everyone—yes, everyone—in composition studies to read.
--Rhetoric Review


Tags
Style, Writing, Rhetoric, Language Arts & Disciplines
Open Access Information

Label: This book is freely available in digital formats through the Utah State University Library Digital Commons.

License: CC BY-NC-ND 4.0