Paul's Case Essay

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In the following essay, Salemi investigates Cather's use of specific prose rhythms in "Paul's Case," which he maintains are intentional and an outgrowth of the author's classical education.

The elements of an individual prose style are elusive of definition. Although we can sometimes describe a writer's characteristic diction, imagery, and idiomatic preferences, most of our comments will be impressionistic and tentative rather than statistically precise. No writer is perpetually true to type, and fine prose, like every other creative manifestation, is often unpredictable in both its methods and effects. Nevertheless, in a well-established literature the rhetorical mannerisms of certain authors are usually distinguishable after long acquaintance. Habits of syntax and predilections in prosody, along with the stylistic resonances they produce, can be as distinctive as a signature in the world of letters.

One minor but useful prosodic device is prose rhythm and cadence. Although sometimes dismissed by plainstyle...

(read more from the Critical Essay #3 section)

This section contains 1,965 words
(approx. 5 pages at 400 words per page)
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