Thinkers, Thinking, Style, Stylists
This chapter evaluates the competing ways that ‘style’ has been said to operate in language. Rather than figure thought as primary and pre-verbal, and language as a secondary delivery system, this chapter recommends a messier relationship, whereby writing is not a simple act of translating but also a means of clarifying or generating ideas. The twenty subsequent chapters of this book exemplify this account of style as a mode of thinking through. Outlines of these individual essays are given, and correspondences drawn. The value of the book as a whole is addressed, as it contributes to scholarship on style and on the essay, and to nineteenth-century studies in particular: by revaluating some of the most influential figures of that age, providing a literary context for those celebrated ‘minds’ and ‘moralists’, while also re-imagining the possible alliances, interplays, and generative tensions between thinking, thinkers, style, and stylists.
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