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When John F. Kennedy said, "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country," he wasn't just stirring the hearts of millions of young Americans, he was also engaging in a little-known form of wordplay called chiasmus. Dr. Mardy Grothe has plumbed the depths of this form for years and catalogued hundreds of examples from ancient times to the present, in Never Let a Fool Kiss You or a Kiss Fool You (title courtesy of Joey Adams). All it takes is a repeated statement with two elements transposed between them--e.g., fool and kiss--and you get a powerful, often humorous, rhetorical prop. Collected in chapters like "Chiasmus for Lovers" and "Chiastic Compliments and Insults," the wisdom of the ages shines in gems such as Cicero's "It is as difficult for the good to suspect evil as it is for the evil to suspect good." Even better is Grothe's running commentary on the form and its masters and the often-biting humor found in the classics, for instance Dr. Johnson's "Your manuscript is both good and original; but the part that is good is not original, and the part that is original is not good." Fortunately for us, the good doctor wasn't referring to Never Let a Fool Kiss You or a Kiss Fool You, which is as fun to read as a reference as it is to refer to a reader. --Rob Lightner
"There is plenty of delight in this overdue collection." —Houston Chronicle --This text refers to the Paperback edition.See all Product Description
For the nutshell skip down to ---THE POINT---. If you like to get lost in circular reasoning, by all means read the whole thing. Read morePublished on Aug. 16 2000 by Christian Jacob Wolfe
I consider myself fairly intelligent, yet had never heard of a chiasmus. When I learned of them through this book, you can't imagine the fun I had trying to create them commuting... Read morePublished on April 30 2000 by Steven Charnick
This is one of the more fun books that I've ever read, I found myself sitting up all night looking at the different phrases in the book, and working to restrain myself so that it... Read morePublished on March 28 2000 by Jack Peters
To think that Dr. Grothe found the word chiasmus and wrote a book about it is unbelievable. He obviously enjoyed the writing and the research. Read morePublished on Nov. 6 1999