By Willis Goth Regier
The learn is thorough and the writing compelling in historian Regier's newest, however the attraction of this educational exploration of the artwork and background of flattery shall be fairly constrained. the writer of ebook of the Sphnix and editor of Masterpieces of yankee Indian Literature, Regier compiles 128 "rules" of flattery culled from artists, authors, philosophers, statesmen and kings that take readers throughout the background of what occurs "when compliment seeks a reward" (Rule 1). Explaining flattery's position in specialist and private relationships via time and around the globe, Regier's far-reaching examine contains forays into enterprise, artwork, delusion, kin, executive, gift-giving and God, in addition to a double handful of illustrations. regardless of its brevity, readers will desire endurance to stay with it; in the event that they do, they'll be rewarded with a trove of rhetorical-philosophical gemstones: "Flatteries are the development blocks of fame," "Poets are the aristocracy of flattery," "Flattery is the varsity for praise." regrettably, the full is considerably lesser than the sum of its elements.
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Additional resources for In Praise of Flattery
The oldest literature of India praises invincible chariots and cities set aflame. For epic flattery, there are epics. Flatterers immerse in sewage forever in the eighth circle of Dante’s Inferno. Satan will not bow to man but flatters Eve in Paradise Lost. Rev. George Crabbe’s mini-epic, “The Birth of Flattery,” awards Flattery’s paternity to Poverty and her maternity to Cunning. 19 The flatterer is a stock comic character the world over. In his Eunuch Terence presented Gnatho, the stereotypical flatterer, who trained himself to agree with anything.
This is unjust to flatterers. Tyrannical personalities ill disposed to contradiction can explode instantly and endanger innocent bystanders. Insulating layers of flatterers muffle the blow. Why Flatter? 35 rule 37: Flattery encourages improvement. In the daily routines of ordinary life, flattery inspires and encourages. ”12 Where do wit, courage, and appearance need more encouragement than in courtship? rule 38: Flattery sweetens love. I balk to state such an obvious truth but cannot omit it: budding and lasting loves uphold flattery as well as any other advocate.
19 The flatterer is a stock comic character the world over. In his Eunuch Terence presented Gnatho, the stereotypical flatterer, who trained himself to agree with anything. ” Menander produced a Flatterer for ancient Greece, Plautus produced one for republican Rome, and Charles Macklin’s Sir Pertinax MacSycophant entertained London in the reign of George III. Literature teaches flattery faster than experience, and at less cost. Animal fables feature flatterers. ) has been a popular antihero since (at least) the tenth century.
In Praise of Flattery by Willis Goth Regier