So I bummed this book from a neighbor. It’s a book on classic English rhetoric. Or verbal style.
She initially pulled it off her shelf to show me because of the name of the author: Ward Farnsworth.
Not an exact rendering of my last name (it’s Farnworth, no “s”). And that’s not pretentious posturing on my part — it has been that way for generations.
But it didn’t really matter who wrote the book. I fell in love with the book and the uncommon literary devices it shared on the spot.
Each chapter is devoted to a literary device like anaphora, chiasmus, and litotes That may sound like nonsense to you, but they’re just fancy words for rhetorical devices you’ll quickly recognize.
Furthermore, each device is broken down into subspecies, complete with examples from notable sources like Shakespeare, Churchill, Chesterton, and the Bible (and I threw in a few by Tupac Shukar, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, and Bob Dylan).
What is a literary device?
Before diving into these uncommon literary devices, let’s take a quick detour.
Talking about literary devices, figures of speech and writing style can be intimidating for many.
After scouring the web and referring to a few additional books, I didn’t come across an agreed upon definition of literary devices. So here’s my take:
A literary device is a technique you can use to create a special effect on your writing.
Think about it this way.