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ook cover for Euphonics: A Poet's Dictionary of Sounds

Euphonics: A Poet's Dictionary of Sounds

Euphonics: A Poet's Dictionary of Sounds
John Michell
84pp,illus by Merrily Harpur
ISBN: 978-0-9508701-6-8 £5.95

John Michell is an artist,idealist and author of many books, including ‘The View over Atlantis’, ‘The Dimensions of Paradise’ and other works on ancient science and learning. His devotion to Plato’s philosophy, and the humorous melancholy in his ‘Megalithomania’, ‘Eccentric Lives & Peculiar Notions’ etc., find their natural meeting point in this book.
  Euphonics is about the natural meanings of sounds and their influence in the formation of words and languages. The subject was first raised in Plato’s Cratylus, where Socrates adjudicates in a debate about the significance of names, whether they are chosen at random or whether they are in some way appropriate to the objects they are applied to.   Plato’s play is full of puns and jokes which no one now can understand, but the general imolication is that the subject should be dealt with humour. So, after an introductory essay, there follows the dictionary, with entries for distinctive sounds, with examples and the author’s own rhyming verse. These are illustrated by Merrily Harpur, whose cartoons are seen in the Telegraph, Guardian and Private Eye.
   Euphonics is a required study for magicians, orators, lovers and all who use words for purposes of enchantment. Here are revealed the bullying, bombastic tendencies of the sound B, the deadly effects of D, the power of O to overawe, of T to tease, of N to negate, Z to send people to sleep, and so on through the sonic alphabet. Euphonics widens the imagination, and may increase one’s influence in this world, but here it is introduced as a source of humour and constant fascination of the curious minded.

The author, the most intelligent and charming visionary of the era, died recently 24th April, 2009
*Rights sold 1999 to Wooden Books(ISBN: 1902418077. £6.99).Wooden Books,Glastonbury, Somerset.

Rights: © John Michell & Merrily Harpur >

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