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Forgotten paths : etymology and the…

Forgotten paths : etymology and the allegorical mindset

by Davide Del Bello

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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 081321484X, Hardcover)

Much has been written on allegory as a cognitive tool--a rhetorical device that is more a philosophical forma mentis than sheer literary form. The writings of the classical thinkers, the work of Isidore of Seville, and the texts of Renaissance humanists tacitly acknowledge the rhetorical, argumentative impact of etymology. Yet appreciation for the practice of etymology remains largely uncharted in modern works. When recognized, it is invariably with reservations about its scientific or cognitive worth. Isidore of Seville's etymologies, for instance, continue either to be cited as curious specimens of scientific antiquarianism or altogether dismissed as semantically and phonologically inaccurate.

In Forgotten Paths, Davide Del Bello draws on the insights of Giambattista Vico and examines exemplary texts from classical, medieval, and Renaissance culture with the intent to trace the links between etymological and allegorical ways of knowing, writing, thinking, and arguing. Del Bello brings into sharper focus the hazy contours of etymology with respect to allegory; assesses the viability of classical and medieval etymologizing as a dynamic cognitive tool; and appraises the persistence of an etymologico-allegorical modus operandi from the late Enlightenment to postmodernism.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:03 -0400)

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