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Printed Commonplace-Books and the Structuring of Renaissance Thought$
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Ann Moss

Print publication date: 1996

Print ISBN-13: 9780198159087

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198159087.001.0001

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Seventeenth Century: Decline

Seventeenth Century: Decline

(p.255) 9 Seventeenth Century: Decline
Printed Commonplace-Books and the Structuring of Renaissance Thought

Ann Moss

Oxford University Press

J. Oudart de la Sourdière and J. Salabert demonstrated in their rather different ways that commonplace-books were deeply entrenched in pedagogical methodology well into the 17th century. When they took it upon themselves to export the rhetoric course extramurally, they assumed that the commonplace-book was a necessary part of the package. In neither instance does the commonplace-book quite fit in the programme. Oudart puts it into a detachable preface, before devoting the whole of his Methode des orateurs to an exposition of how to use the places of argument long associated with commonplace-book methods of composition, but in this case only tenuously linked to the quotations which were the commonplace-book's core. Salabert puts it in a sort of epilogue, quite separate from his Rhetoric, and is singularly reticent about how it is to be made to function rhetorically. These are signs of an impending redundancy, the causes of which are examined in this chapter.

Keywords:   J. Oudart de la Sourdière, J. Salabert, commonplace-books, methodology, preface, epilogue, redundancy

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