The classical trivium: the place of Thomas Nashe in the learning of his time
In this previously unpublished work, a young Marshall McLuhan, as cultural historian, illuminates the complexities of the classical trivium, provides the first ever close reading of the enigmatic Elizabethan writer Thomas Nashe, and implicitly challenges the reader to accept a new blueprint for literary education. Ideas that would ground McLuhan's media analysis of the 1960s and 70s are here in embryo, as he sets out in scrupulous detail the role of grammar (interpretation), dialectic, and rhetoric in classical learning. Under McLuhan's scholarly microscope, the internal dynamics of the trivium and its purpose are revealed. As is its indispensable role in giving full due to the rich prose of Thomas Nashe. In ranging over literature from Cicero to the sixteenth century, McLuhan discovers the source and significance of multiple traditions in Nashe's writings. Here, more than half a century after it was written, is a fresh, insightful, and richly coherent framework for studying Nashe and an unequivocal call for a program of education based on the ambitious and lofty ideal of reintegrating the classical trivium.
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Abelard Alcuin allegory ancient antiquity Aristotle Ascham attack Augustine Bonaventure Calvinist Cambridge chapter character Christian Christs Teares Church Cicero Ciceronian ideal classical concept culture decorum dialecticians dialectics discussion divinity doctrine Donne ecphrasis eloquence Erasmus ethics exegesis fact Fathers Francis Bacon Gilson grammar and rhetoric grammarians grammatical exegesis Greek Harvey historians humanists hyperbole ibid Ipage ISee Jerome John of Salisbury knowledge language Latin learning liberal arts literary literature logic Logos matter McKeon McKerrow McLuhan medieval method Middle Ages modern modes moral Nashe's nature orator oratory pagan Paris patristic Petrarch philosophy Plato poetry poets praise Priscian prose Quintilian Rabelais Ramist Ramus reason Renaissance rhetoric rhetoricians Roman satire says scholastic scholasticism Schoolmen Scripture second sophistic sermon sixteenth century Socrates Sophists Stoic style Taylor theologians theology things thirteenth century Thomas Nashe tion tradition treatises trivium twelfth century Virgil virtue wisdom words writing