When I was assigned my English paper, I was told to choose a story from our class novel, The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon by Washington Irving, and further my understanding of some literary term through that story. I was really interested when we read the story “The Art of Bookmaking.” This short story is about a man you finds himself in a mysterious new place where authors create books: The British Library. The man sees these fascinating “Magi” (63) and what they are doing to create books, by “taking a morsel out of one [book] and a morsel out of another” and compiling these pieces to form one ‘new’ book “as heterogeneous as those of the witches’ cauldron in Macbeth” (64). To many of us now, this scene probably seems very far-fetched because why would authors be described as Magi?or why would authors be taking pieces of other works and putting them together to create their own?
It is this exaggeration that I plan to build my paper on. The term is hyperbole, and it means to use obvious over-exaggeration in a piece of literature. Within this story there are plenty of places that Irving is hyperbolic and one can infer that some real exaggeration is going on. In my paper, I plan to research more into this story and read these “exaggerations” more closely, because I believe that although we may perceive these descriptions by Irving to be purely exaggeration, there may be pieces or instances where this exaggeration is not really exaggeration. Also, there may be times where Irving’s hyperbole is unclear in the story or not clearly obvious, which is contradictory to the standard denotation of hyperbole.
I know this picture seems quite childish because of the simply clip-art, but I thought it seemed clever and could easily convey the idea of a hyperbole through over-exaggeration.