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His Fugitive Voice – Plenary 1
Both intellectually and temperamentally Lewis was a not-so-undercover counter-cultural saboteur and a rebel whose final cause was escape – first from a bereft childhood, then from his zeitgeist, and finally from zeit itself. In short, he was very much his own man, one whose many independent geniuses – above all his rhetorical genius, the chairman of the board of all the others – give his diverse works their distinctive benchmark quality.
Lewis’s ‘Rhetoric’ Did You Say?
As a prose stylist the master’s gifts of wit, analogy, imagery, epigrammatic economy (not least in his construction of paragraphs), rhythmical dexterity, and rhetorical adroitness – above all his patterns of persuasion – not only place him in any canon of English letters worthy of study but have provided for us a disciple straight fro Galilee. Moreover, we can discern in the clarity, rigor, and tone of Lewis’ work a model for enhancing the effectiveness of our own rhetoric, whether written or spoken, no matter its purpose.
Communication consultant, lecturer, writer and teacher, James Como holds advanced degrees in medieval English literature (Fordham University), in Public and Group Communication (Queens College), and in Language, Literature and Rhetoric (Columbia University) and is Professor Emeritus of Rhetoric and Public Communication at York College (CUNY) where, upon joining the faculty in 1968, he established the Speech discipline. He is most well known for his book C.S. Lewis at the Breakfast Table and Other Reminisces. A founding member of the New York C. S. Lewis Society (1969), his latest book is Why I Believe Narnia: Thirty-three Essays and Reviews on the Life and Work of C. S. Lewis.
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