Topical Guide 397
“Guten Abend, Herb,” said Frank. “Das ist ein schön Sonnenuntergang, n’est-ce pas?”
“Sun-in — ?” asked Herb.
Frank pointed at the sanguine pellet dropping gulfward.
“Ah!” said Herb. “La puesta de sol.”
“Yeah. ‘Sol’s pot,’ ” said Frank.
“Heh-heh,” said Herb.
Herb ’n’ Lorna, Chapter 20
Rhetorical Devices: Direct Address or Personal Address
Andrea told a complex and not uninteresting story of glasses forgotten, mislaid, discovered, dropped, stepped on, and broken beyond repair. Herb served drinks, and Lorna put out an oval platter of celery and carrots and green olives stuffed with pimiento. When Frank, at the end of Andrea’s story, pulled the twisted glasses from his jacket pocket and put them on, Herb and Lorna laughed heartily, but you and I would have been able to hear their nervousness, I think, if we’d been there.
Herb ’n’ Lorna, Chapter 20
Herodotus [uses direct address of the reader]: “From the city of Elephantine you will sail upwards, until you come to a level plain; and after you have crossed this tract, you will board again another ship and sail for two days, and then you will come to a great city whose name is Meroe.” You see, my friend, how, as he takes you in imagination through the places in question, he transforms hearing into sight. All such passages, by their direct personal form of address, bring the hearer right into the middle of the action being described. When you seem to be addressing, not the whole audience, but a single member of it . . . you will affect him more profoundly, and make him more attentive and full of active interest, if you rouse him by these appeals to him personally.
Longinus or Dionysius, On the Sublime (translated by T. S. Dorsch)
[Forgive me, reader, for pointing out what I’m sure you noticed: that Longinus, sly boots that he was, not only quoted Herodotus’s use of direct address, but used the device himself.]
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