New PDF release: Parkinson's Law or The Pursuit of Progress

By C. Northcote Parkinson

C. Northcote Parkinson's very good treatise exposing the modus operandi of governments and paperwork.

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Additional info for Parkinson's Law or The Pursuit of Progress

Sample text

The seriousness of the comedy is expressed dramatically in Socrates' quietly unrelenting opposition to any form of alazoneta, a stance that characterizes many of Lucian's own voices.

Laughable," "strange," "monstrous," "satyric" (geloion, xenon, phasma, saturikon: 34) are the terms that Dialogue uses to denounce the absurd condition to which the Syrian has reduced him from the grandeur of Plato's Phaedrus: narrative and dialogue, verse and prose, sublimity and burlesque are freely combined. There is in fact no definitive model for his condition, but there are important precedents, as we shall see. Thus in these two forensic fantasies Lucian defines and defends his relation to tradition in broad generic terms.

The comic narrative is made to apply directly to his literary strategies and their reception by a contemporary audience. Furthermore, the story does not instruct in addition to being comic, but by means of being comic. For the work to perform its rhetorical function, the audience must be made to envisage the maenads first as comic (geloios) and only afterward as something to be taken seriously, as effective warriors. Dionysus is thus a paradigm of Lucian's seriocomic practice and shows it to be thoroughly integrated: the relationship between the serious and comic elements is not to be conceived externally as one of message to decoration, as the Horatian dictum on mixing the utile with the dulce might suggest (Ars Poetica 341-344).

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Parkinson's Law or The Pursuit of Progress by C. Northcote Parkinson


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