Author evening: learning the tricks of rhetoric

TONIGHT Steyning Bookshop welcomes author and rhetoric connoisseur, Mark Forsyth, to speak about his new book which picks a part language and reveals the secrets of those one-liners we all remember so well.

he Elements of Eloquence is a writer’s tool-kit, recipe book.

This event is for those who are fascinated in the way language works and the hidden cogs behind why certain sentences are so effective.

Mark gathers the rhetoric figures (e.g. hyperbole) and then separates them into chapters revealing the secrets behind memorable lines.

Speaking about why he decided to write the book, Mark Forsyth said: “Basically the Ancient Greeks noticed beauty in particular sentences or phrases and so tried to classify these.

“Rhetoric figures make up a small part of rhetoric.

“They were taught in schools for 2,000 years and Shakespeare knew these and applied them deliberately to his work. He knew exactly what he was doing and what effect would be achieved.

“Now we will use rhetoric figures but usually without realising we are doing so.

“I wanted to uncover and highlight the tricks of rhetoric.

Mark added: “What I enjoyed the most was the biggest difficulty and also the least enjoyable part; a paradox I know.

“Nobody really has attempted to write this book before and so all the examples I use from pop songs to speeches I had to think up, alone.

“So I basically spent a lot of time in the British Library staring up at the ceiling thinking through every line there ever was.

“It was frustrating but then it was a ‘yes!’ moment when I found the right example and that was a fantastic moment. Usually though I would think of them after writing the chapter.”

The event will take place tonight at 7.30pm at the Steyning Bookshop, 106 High Street, Steyning.

Tickets are available in the shop, or by calling 01903 812062 or visit the Steyning Bookshop Facebook page.