It is quite late, to be exact; yet there is some residual energy, so I will type it away.
Most of today has been devoted to finally reading through the books I got from Harding a month ago and taking notes. Iâ€™d rather just read – Iâ€™d already read the things weeks ago, but taking accurate notes (in MS Word, alas, as these books are not mine and I cannot mark them up!) are quite necessary, as I need to cite all of these books in the to-be-rewritten-metaphor article, especially Joachim Jeremiasâ€™ The Eucharistic Words of Jesus. I actually understood half of the points he made on Greek syntax in the Gospels; Iâ€™m not sure whether to be thrilled or frightened.
Which brings me (Killick is not only person that begins sentences with â€˜whichâ€™, aha!) to a more disturbing point. Certain books lately have just pissed me off. I threw Michael Crottyâ€™s The Foundations of Social Research across the den the other day. It deserves its heavy front-cover crease. Iâ€™ll read it many times over the next few years, but Iâ€™ll throw it about the same number of times, Iâ€™m sure. Then I think Iâ€™ll burn it. Likewise I found Mogens Stiller Kjargaardâ€™s Metaphor and Parable to be intolerable today (and itâ€™s not just the translation – itâ€™s the sheer inane thrust of the whole work) but its binding is too stiff for anything but a firearm. Sigh.
I think one of the biggest reasons I got into rhet/comp is that the authors are half readable. There are exceptions, of course – Nan Johnsonâ€™s 19th Century Rhetoric in
But for the most part, the New Testament rhetoric stuff that I read is pretty passable in terms of readability. They usually dig into the text right away, which I like, and forgo an overdose on theory. If they do begin such a rhapsody, it is generally short, within reason, and not physically painful. Iâ€™m fully aware that there is a â€œpopularâ€ kind of scholarly writing where a crossover with the bestseller list is possible, and Iâ€™m not talking about that. Iâ€™m simply referring to actual clarity of speech when discussing complex ideas. I have not yet learned to control my book-throwing impulses when I encounter potentially good, complex ideas that are further obscured by unnecessarily complex, and therefore poor, language. I can dig deconstructionism, but I have to take Chomskyâ€™s position on Derrida – if all reasonable efforts by an intelligent entity to understand the text have failed, what is left may be brilliant, but it is useless.