Monday, April 24, 2017

Hudson on Weaver

Another danger is, or was, that he might become the esoteric possession of a few, a group of self-styled "Melvilleans," who would exchange cryptic passwords from their first editions and resent intrusion of the vulgar. Worst of all, Melville might become just another American author, another photogravure to put up beside Bryant and Longfellow, every hair of his beard numbered, every fault forgotten, every platitude quoted. Mr. Weaver's book insures a different future for Herman Melville. Given this biography and Melville's works, we have the man, vigorous, observant, eloquent, but torn by unending speculations, baffled by sad defeats. To him all those will turn who love the tingle and tang of life yet who do not fear to think.
--Hoyt H. Hudson, "God's Plenty About Melville" in The Nation, January 4, 1922

Jim A. Kuypers pays a marvelous tribute to Hoyt H. Hudson as "An Ignored Giant" in the Summer 2003 issue of ACJ, the American Communication Journal.
Speech was a humane study for Hudson, not scientific. He made the argument for the centrality and importance of rhetoric at the heart of a liberal arts education--rhetoric was not to devolve into a specialized type of training. As Hudson’s essays demonstrate, rhetoric, not techniques for studying oral language, was at the heart of the new profession. Although Hudson is all but ignored today, his work is crucial for understanding the development of rhetorical studies: it removed rhetoric from the realm of composition studies and literary criticism, forcefully argued for understanding rhetoric as an art, and made the case for rhetoric as an independent disciplinary study.  
--Meet Your Footnote: Hoyt Hopewell Hudson–An Ignored Giant

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