Good Reading : February 2016
GOODREADINGMAGAZINE.COM.AU GOOD READING FEBRUARY 2016 10 GOODREADINGMAGAZINE.COM.AU BOOK TRIVIA book verb-free words Try this new colouring-in book Ray Bradbury originally titled Fahrenheit 451, his dystopian 1953 novel, as The Fireman, but he and the editors found the name so boring that they called the local fire station and asked at what temperature the paper in a book would burn. The firemen put Bradbury on hold, burned a book, and reported that the temperature at which it went up in flames was 451o Fahrenheit (which is 232o Celsius for those of us in the metric world). Following on from last month’s introduction to the world of rhetoric, this month we take a look at a rhetorical device called chiasmus. Here are a couple of examples of chiasmus: ‘When the going gets tough, the tough get going.’ Proverb ‘I meant what I said, and I said what I meant.’ Dr Seuss, Horton Hatches the Egg In a chiasmus, key words or phrases are repeated in two clauses, but the order of the words is reversed. It follows an A–B –B –A pattern. Le Train de Nulle Part (The Train from Nowhere) is a book that contains no verbs. Written in French by author Michel Dansel in 2004, the content consists of the narrator describing and criticising the passengers on a train. The author, under the pseudonym Michel Thaler, wrote the book as part of a crusade against verbs. He says that the verb is an ‘invader, dictator and usurper of our literature’. He even staged a funeral, to ceremonially ‘bury’ the verb. ‘The verb is like a weed in a field of flowers. You have to get rid of it to allow the flowers to grow and flourish. Take away the verbs and the language speaks for itself.’ Thaler somehow convinced 300 people to attend his mock funeral for the verb at Sorbonne University in Paris, France. Sci-fi author Isaac Asimov (1920–92) is the only writer to have published a book in nine of the 10 Dewey library categories. colour craze Burn the books!
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