In Praise of the Garrulous

In Praise of the Garrulous

9.95 11.95

by Allan Cameron

Pages: 208
ISBN: 978-1-908251-24-4
Dimensions: 210 x 140 mm
Publication: 23 September 2013
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“This is a book about language and above all about the value and essentiality of language in our lives. It might therefore be called a book on the “ecology” of language, because human language is in danger of being permanently damaged by the way modern technology has developed over the last century, and this will affect not only our competence in organising ourselves socially and politically, but also our inner selves. In other words, the process of homogenisation we call globalisation is not only damaging our external environment, but our internal one as well. At the same time, we are collectively accumulating an unprecedented mass of scientific and technological knowledge, which in a way we can be proud of, but only if individually and socially we retain our skills to deal with it. I believe the maintenance of our linguistic skills is essential to this task, and therefore the linguistic problem takes its place alongside all the other problems we face – problems with which any reasonably informed person is already fully acquainted.” — “Introduction” (ix)


“A deeply reflective, extraordinarily wide-ranging meditation on the nature of language, infused in its every phrase by a passionate humanism.” — Terry Eagleton

“I like In Praise of the Garrulous very much indeed, not only because it says a good many interesting and true things, but because of its tone and style. Its combination of personal passion, observation, stories, poetic bits and serious expert argument, expressed as it is in the prose of an intelligent conversation: all this is ideal for holding and persuading intelligent but non-expert readers. In my opinion he has done nothing better.” — Eric Hobsbawm

“… one of the most extraordinary books I have ever come across. It is not just in praise of the garrulous, it is itself garrulous in the most energizing way. The torrent of ideas, the side-turnings [the author] insists on exploring, the dips into fiction and fable, the astonishing range of references — all these created the impression of someone having a clamorous debate with himself, always emphatic yet always aware of the objections, counter-arguments and alternatives. It was this atmosphere of intense, idea-packed argumentation that I found so gripping.” — John Carey

“… there is so much here that is important (I love his description of writing as 'pondered garrulousness'), and his humanity is so winning and welcome …” — Nicholas Lezard, The Guardian

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