This chapter examines the relative status of language and other, similar activities: singing, weeping, groaning, and laughter. The proper manner and degree in which the wise man or woman should indulge in these had been a recurrent theme of classical literature since Homer; again, this had for Augustine been overlaid by the Christian Scriptures, and by some three hundred years of exegesis. It is argued that the paralinguistic activities in the Confessions not only help structure the work, but also represent a careful negotiation of the classical and Christian grammars of the emotions.
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