Aristotle, Poetics (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Arist. Poet.].
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1458a.20 An example is the poetry of Cleophon and of Sthenelus. [Note] That which employs unfamiliar words is dignified and outside the common usage. By "unfamiliar" I mean a rare word, a metaphor, a lengthening, [Note] and anything beyond the ordinary use. But if a poet writes entirely in such words, the result will be either a riddle or jargon; if made up of metaphors, a riddle and if of rare words, jargon. The essence of a riddle consists in describing a fact by an impossible combination of words. By merely combining the ordinary names of things this cannot be done, but it is made possible by combining metaphors. For instance, "I saw a man weld bronze upon a man with fire," and so on. [Note] A medley of rare words is jargon. We need then a sort of mixture of the two. For the one kind will save the diction from being prosaic and commonplace, the rare word, for example, and the metaphor and the "ornament," whereas the ordinary words give clarity.


Aristotle, Poetics (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Arist. Poet.].
<<Arist. Poet. 1458a.1 Arist. Poet. 1458a.20 (Greek) >>Arist. Poet. 1458b.1

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