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Thinking Through StyleNon-Fiction Prose of the Long Nineteenth Century$
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Michael D. Hurley and Marcus Waithe

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198737827

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198737827.001.0001

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John Henry Newman

John Henry Newman

Thinking out into Language

Chapter:
(p.101) 6 John Henry Newman
Source:
Thinking Through Style
Author(s):

Michael D. Hurley

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198737827.003.0007

Newman has been much vaunted as a ‘master’ of non-fiction prose style, and justly so. His felicity of phrasing is astonishing: so precise, so elegant, so vivid. This chapter admires Newman’s stylistic achievements too, but with a view to explaining why Newman himself baulked at such praise, by insisting instead on the importance of veracity over verbalism. While a number of different writings by Newman are surveyed in the course of the chapter, the argument comes to focus in particular on his seminal work of faith, Grammar of Assent, a book that took him some twenty years to write, which almost killed him, and which best exemplifies his suggestive but enigmatic definition of ‘style’ as ‘a thinking out into language’.

Keywords:   Newman, style, philosophy, theology, thinking out, rhythm, mimesis, faith, reason, assent

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