A Short Rhetoric for Leaving the Family
Fathers, many fathers, wish that they could explain themselves to their children, perhaps most of all to their sons, provide a written record so that the gossamer connection between themselves and their progeny might be sustained beyond their lives, and that their children might be able to return to this written record as a reminder of who their father was.
In A Short Rhetoric for Leaving the Family, Peter Dimock creates such a letter from a self-appointed father to his twelve-year-old nephew and a ten-year-old who is possibly the narrator's half-brother or his illegitimate son. With the intent that this explanation will also provide them with a guide to live by teaching them the forms and methods of classical rhetoric, the narrator's hidden agenda—reminiscent of Ford Madox Ford's narrator in The Good Soldier—is to have them turn against his and their family.
The examples that he draws upon for instructing them in rhetoric are his family's sordid history, particularly that of the head of the Lanham family, the narrator's father, a special assistant to the President during the Vietnam War. In telling his story, the narrator reveals not only his own emotional inadequacies but also the corruption underlying his family's history, and that of the country itself.
A Short Rhetoric for Leaving the Family is both a brilliantly written investigation of family relationships and a scathing attack on the political rhetoric that guides American politics.
Title A Short Rhetoric for Leaving the Family
Author Peter Dimock
Title First Published 01 November 1998
Nb of pages 128 p.
Publication Date 01 November 1998
Nb of pages 128
Dimensions 5.5 x 8 in.
List Price $12.95
The 'rhetoric' in the title of Peter Dimock's astonishing novella is just that: the study of the effective use of language, the art of prose, a discipline to inform and persuade . . . A remarkable
Jarlath Lanham, the narrator in this odd and compelling first novel, . . . is fascinating. If you put the phrase 'knowledge is power' alongside Bacon's 'all knowledge and wonder . . . is an
An effective, multi-layered, volatile, powerful indictment of the vulgar 'skills' of real-life warmongers . . . A Short Rhetoric for Leaving the Family, like the Pentagon Papers
"The 'rhetoric' in the title of Peter Dimock's astonishing [A Short Rhetoric for Leaving the Family] is just that: the study of the effective use of language, the art of
This is a singular book. Peter Dimock's A Short Rhetoric for Leaving the Family possesses the rich, intricate, and subtle patternings of the verbal lacemaker's craft. A remarkable debut. -Toni Morrison
An intriguing, even perplexing, enactment of memory that journeys into the disturbing coldness that lay at the heart of America's Vietnam. -Ariel Dorfman
With this lean and haunting novel, Peter Dimock has made an important and original contribution to the literature of the American War in Vietnam. It takes us behind the
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Genres : Fiction : United States and Canada
Countries : United States of America