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Studies in Words (Canto) [Paperback]

By C. S. Lewis (Author) & Lewis C. S. (Author)
Find more in Canto Series
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Item description for Studies in Words (Canto) by C. S. Lewis & Lewis C. S....

C.S. Lewis studies in Words explores this fascination by taking a series of words and teasing out their connotations using examples from a vast range of English literature, recovering lost meanings and analysing their functions. It doubles as an absorbing and entertaing study of verbal communication, its pleasures and problems. The issues revealed are essential to all who read and communicate thoughtfully, and are handled here by a masterful exponent and analyst of the English Language.

Publishers Description
Language - in its communicative and playful functions, its literary formations and its shifting meanings - is a perennially fascinating topic. C. S. Lewis's Studies in Words explores this fascination by taking a series of words and teasing out their connotations using examples from a vast range of English literature, recovering lost meanings and analysing their functions. It doubles as an absorbing and entertaining study of verbal communication, its pleasures and problems. The issues revealed are essential to all who read and communicate thoughtfully, and are handled here by a masterful exponent and analyst of the English language.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Cambridge University Press
Pages   349
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.5" Width: 5.5" Height: 0.9"
Weight:   1.05 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Nov 30, 1990
Publisher   Cambridge University Press
ISBN  0521398312  
ISBN13  9780521398312  

Availability  0 units.

More About C. S. Lewis & Lewis C. S.

C. S. Lewis C.S. Lewis was a professor of medieval and Renaissance literature at Oxford and Cambridge universities who wrote more than thirty books in his lifetime, including The Screwtape Letters, The Chronicles of Narnia, and Mere Christianity. He died in 1963.

C. S. Lewis was born in 1898 and died in 1963.

C. S. Lewis has published or released items in the following series...
  1. C.S. Lewis Signature Classics
  2. Chronicles of Narnia
  3. Collected Letters of C.S. Lewis
  4. Radio Theatre

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Authors, A-Z > ( L ) > Lewis, C.S.
2Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > World Literature > British
3Books > Subjects > Reference > Foreign Languages > General
4Books > Subjects > Reference > Foreign Languages
5Books > Subjects > Reference > General
6Books > Subjects > Reference > Words & Language > General
7Books > Subjects > Reference > Words & Language > Grammar
8Books > Subjects > Reference > Words & Language > Linguistics
9Books > Subjects > Reference > Words & Language > Semantics

Reviews - What do customers think about Studies in Words (Canto)?

A Love for Words  Jul 6, 2005
Someone once said that good teachers do not only teach a subject but also impart a LOVE for the subject. This C.S. Lewis certainly did to me through his "Studies in Words." I read the book a while ago, and though I do not remember every detail, a deep love for words and language has been with me ever since.

Naturally the book offers more than mere love for linguistics: it is also a tool for truly appreciating and understanding older literature. By tracing a number of key words through the centuries, C.S. Lewis helps the reader to understand how concepts change and what effect that has on one's understanding of literature.

Lastly, for those who relish C.S. Lewis's other works, "Studies in Words" might prove a fascinating view of yet another facet of Lewis's wide-ranging writings. Full points!
Tools of Thought  Dec 16, 2003
This represents yet aother of Lewises attempts at "grammar" in the medival sense - what words and stories actually mean. As his chapter on "life" shows, we despertly need it.
Interesting  Aug 28, 2003
This is a very interesting book, though it is not easy to read. Don't approach it thinking it is a book to be read quickly. . . I feel as though I were sitting in lectures, and I have to read it slowly, to be sure I'm getting all that Lewis is trying to say. If you have an interest in etemology, you'll enjoy this book. Read it in small bits, digest them over a day or two and then read some more!
I understood about one-tenth of it, but....  Jan 30, 2003
...the fault is mine, not Lewis's. I read this book in my quest to read everything Lewis wrote. While much of it was obscure, (in contrast to his religious writings,) there are still many ideas that a non-scholar can grasp. As noted in other reviews, the first and last chapters are the most down-to-earth. The chapters discussing each chosen word are laden with reference to writings by Dryden, Pope, Aristotle, and numerous others. Latin and Greek and other languages are quoted, and not always with a translation. In spite of my interest in semantics and language, most of the time I was in over my head. I'm glad I read it, but happy that I borrowed rather than bought it.
An intimidating and dazzling bit of scholarship  Oct 20, 2002
As in his other works on Medieval literature, Lewis here displays a breathtaking range of learning and scholarship. The endless hours which he must have spent hunched over his desk, his pipe in his mouth, poring over volumes of Latin and Anglo-Saxon poetry, are more clearly evident in a book like this than any biographer could make them. It's more than a little intimidating to realize just how much one hasn't read.

The strongest impression that this book has left on me is of how carefully and thoughtfully Lewis must have approached his reading. I suspect I am myself one of those who imposes the "dangerous sense" (i.e., the modern sense) onto a word when I encounter it in earlier literature, without recognizing that the meaning the author intended would have been subtly different. And it is precisely those times when the difference is most subtle that the difference is the most dangerous. I found myself somewhat exhausted by the immense range of literature from which Lewis drew his examples. Finding examples of "life" in the works of George Bernard Shaw or G. K. Chesterton probably wasn't difficult; but he quotes just as freely from Rider Haggard, Coleridge, Chaucer, Spenser, Hobbes, Ovid, Lucretius, Seneca, Plato and Aristotle -- as well as writers and works I'd never heard of before. What's most depressing is that I couldn't have pulled these sorts of examples even out of the writers that I have read. Oh well. We can't all be geniuses.

The book also challenged me to be more precise in my writing. Several times, as Lewis marched inexorably through the millennia, tracing a word from Homer to Chesterton, I was reminded of those occasions when Lewis describes "The Great Knock" (William Kirkpatrick), Lewis' early tutor, trapping a covey of female bridge players, "begging them to clarify their terms". Lewis' own writing was unusually strong and clear, even in passages markedly beref of stylistic adornments. I suspect that this was largely the result of his careful and precise use of words: never saying more or less than what he meant, never throwing in a word just for effect, and always clearly aware of the precise effect that his chosen words would have.

As is often the case, I enjoyed the opening and concluding essays the most. The chapter on "Life" was probably the most polemic -- but even there, only subtly so -- and probably for that reason the most interesting. The other essays, on "wit", "free", "nature", "simple", "sense" and "world", for instance, were interesting and informative, but not helpful in the sense that I'll likely find a use for their content. Again, it makes all the difference whether you're a medieval scholar or just a Lewis fan.


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