Simple and Direct

A Rhetoric for Writers

Jacques Barzun

Simple and Direct
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Jacques Barzun

Revised edition
314 pages | 5-1/4 x 8 | © 1975, 1985
Paper $20.00 ISBN: 9780226038681 Published June 1994
In Simple & Direct, Jacques Barzun, celebrated author and educator, distills from a lifetime of writing and teaching his thoughts about the craft of writing. In chapters on diction, syntax, tone, meaning, composition, and revision, Barzun describes and prescribes the techniques to correct even the most ponderous style. Exercises, model passages — both literary and unorthodox — and hundreds of often amusing examples of usage gone wrong demonstrate the process of making intelligent choices and guide us toward developing strong and distinctive prose.
Preface to the Revised Edition
I. Diction, or Which Words to Use
Time Out for Good Reading I
"Working and Thinking on the Waterfront"
II. Linking, or What to Put Next
Time Out for Good Reading II
"Aristotle on Detective Fiction"
III. Tone and Tune, or What Impression Will It Make?
Time Out for Good Reading III
"Language Defined"
IV. Meaning, or What Do I Want to Say?
Time Out for Good Reading IV
"Hints for Sawing"
V. Composition, or How Does It Hang Together?
Time Out for Good Reading V
"The Law as Guarantee of Free Speech"
VI. Revision, or What Have I Actually Said?
Time Out for Good Reading VI
"Two Gifted Amateurs"
VII. To Use or Not to Use
Time Out for Good Reading VII
"How to Be Respected at an Inn, Hotel or Pub"
VIII. Take a Little Thought
Time Out for Good Reading VIII
"Writing Less—and Better?"
Hints Toward Improving Sentences Quoted
Index of Words, Topics, and Authors
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