The Art of Conversation
A Guided Tour of a Neglected Pleasure
Read Catherine Blyth's posts on the Penguin Blog.
Reclaim the pleasures and possibilities of great conversation with this sparkling guide from the witty pen of an Englishwoman wise to its art
Every day we use cell phones and computers to communicate, but it's easy to forget that we possess a communication technology that has been in research and development for thousands of years. Catherine Blyth points out the sorry state of disrepair that conversation has fallen into-and then, taking examples from history, literature, philosophy, anthropology, and popular culture, she gives us the tools to rebuild.
The Art of Conversation isn't about etiquette, elocution, or knowing how to hold your teacup with your little finger crooked just so. It's about something simple and profound: connecting. Conversation costs nothing, but can bring you the world, because it transcends the ability to talk to anyone. What transforms encounters into adventures is how we listen, laugh, flirt, and flatter. Blyth celebrates techniques for reading and changing minds, whether you're in a bar or a boardroom.
As Alexander Pope nearly wrote, "True ease in talking comes from art, not chance, as those move easiest who have learned to dance." When you have read The Art of Conversation, you'll not only know the steps, but hear the music like never before.
- Penguin Publishing Group, December 2008
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