The Doubter's Companion

The Doubter's Companion

4.11 - 1251 ratings - Source



A long and distinguished tradition of writers have used the form of a satirical dictionary to undermine the received ideas of their day. Voltaire wrote a sharply humorous qPhilosophical Dictionary, q while Samuel Johnson's dictionary of the English language was derisive and opinionated. These early dictionaries and encyclopedias were really weapons in a struggle for the soul of civilization between forces of humanistic enlightenment and the forces of orthodoxy and dogmatism. Their authors attacked and exposed the half-truths of their day by showing that it was possible to think differently about the social and political arrangements that everyone took for granted. But as John Ralston Saul argues in this decidedly unorthodox book, modern dictionaries have once again been captured by the forces of orthodoxya€”albeit this time a rationalist orthodoxy. Our language has become as predictable, fragmented, and rhetorical as it was in the 18th century, divided as it is by special interest groups into dialects of expertise that are hermetically sealed off and inaccessible to citizens. In The Doubter's Companion, a marAsvelous subversive contribution to the great 18th century tradition of the humanist dictionary, Saul skewers and discredits the accepted content of common terms like Advertising, Academics, and Air Conditioning (defined as qan efficient means for spreading disease in enclosed public spacesq); Cannibal, Conservative, and Croissant; Dandruff, Death, and Dictionary (qopinions presented as truth in alphabetical orderq); and several hundred others, including Biography (qa respectable form of pornographyq), Museum (qsafe storage for stolen objectsq), and Manners (qpeople are always splendid when they're deadq). There is much in this volume that will stimulate, offend, provoke, perplex, and entertain. But Saul deploys these tactics of guerilla lexicography to advance the more serious purpose of reclaiming public language from the stultifying dialects of modern expertise.There is much in this volume that will stimulate, offend, provoke, perplex, and entertain.


Title:The Doubter's Companion
Author: John Ralston Saul
Publisher:Simon and Schuster - 2012-11-06
ISBN-13:

You must register with us as either a Registered User before you can Download this Book. You'll be greeted by a simple sign-up page.

Once you have finished the sign-up process, you will be redirected to your download Book page.

How it works:
  • 1. Register a free 1 month Trial Account.
  • 2. Download as many books as you like (Personal use)
  • 3. Cancel the membership at any time if not satisfied.


Click button below to register and download Ebook
Privacy Policy | Contact | DMCA