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  • Wayne Booth Dies

    Posted by Ginny on October 11th, 2005 (All posts by )

    Wayne Booth, both 1921 American Fork, Utah, has died. BYU undergrad, Chicago grad. President MLA 1982; Chicago Pullman Professor of English from 1962.

    Critical Theory:

    Booth’s enormous influence on the way we talk about narrative began with the publication of The Rhetoric of Fiction (1961; 2nd edition, 1983), which adapted the Aristotelian theory to consider the reader and ways in which literary texts themselves shape the audience they require. In it, he questioned the moral impact of certain narrative techniques. Booth promised an “ethics of fiction” to clarify his ideas and he delivered it, nearly thirty years later, in The Company We Keep (1988). Now retired, he is currently at work on a rhetoric of religious discourse.


    5 Responses to “Wayne Booth Dies”

    1. Robert Schwartz Says:

      Very Sad news. He was a very nice man with a real concern for undergraduate education.

    2. Lex Says:

      There was a very good interview with Wayne Booth and Stanley Fish, which I think was on Chicago Public Radio. I am not finding it, but I think I have a link somewhere around here. Booth was excellent and Fish was respectful. I think the topic was the need for a literary canon. I have never read any of Booth’s books, though he is supposed to be good.

    3. Ginny Says:

      Respectful – good – as well he should have been.

    4. Rand Says:

      WBEZ has the audio of the Booth/Fish interview in their archive for July 9, 2001, “The Legacy of the Great Books Program”:

    5. Ginny Says:

      Thanks, Rand, have sent it out to our department.