Sally Krutzig, News Editor
A book written by a former University of Dallas English professor, Dr. Raymond DiLorenzo, was launched last Thursday.
The idea for the work, entitled “The Human Word: Rhetorical Thought in Classical Antiquity and the Arts of Language,” sprang from DiLorenzo’s deep love of rhetoric and explores the idea that one cannot separate the rhetorical form from the soul.
“It’s a mix of rhetorical treatises and literature,” said English professor Dr. Scott Crider.
“The Human Word” will be published serially online, chapter by chapter. Currently, the first five chapters are available for reading. DiLorenzo himself made the decision to publish the work online.
“He wanted it to be available to anyone who wanted to read it,” said Crider.
DiLorenzo’s wife, Nancy DiLorenzo, also felt that publishing online was the right choice, since it seemed impossible to “pidgeonhole” her husband’s work into one category of literature. The book is available on The Arts of Liberty Project’s website, theartsofliberty.org.
The Arts of Liberty Project describes itself as a “collaborative effort, involving scholars from around the world who are actively engaged in liberal education at the undergraduate and graduate levels.”
The book was written by DiLorenzo shortly before his death, during what Crider called “an intensively creative moment after his retirement.” After her husband passed away, Nancy DiLorenzo invited Crider to review and edit the manuscript.
“In all honesty, I could not wait to read it,” said Crider.
DiLorenzo taught English at the University of Dallas for three decades before his retirement. He spent his time at the university “reading and reflecting on rhetoric and literature,” but his passion for the spoken word began even before becoming a professor.
“Even his dissertation was on therapy of the word,” said Nancy DiLorenzo.
The official launch took place at the third annual presentation of the DiLorenzo Award, an award created in the late professor’s honor.
Each year, English professors review the annotated essays written by Literary Tradition II students on either Milton or Dante. Each professor submits one or two entries per class section to be reviewed by a panel of three professors, which then selects the best one.
“Students are invited to be drawn into the conversation,” said English professor Dr. Steven Stryer, referring to the scholarly debate that has been going on for centuries regarding these two epic poets.
This year’s winner was Ann Kuehl, who wrote on Virgil’s role in instilling hope in Dante. Kuehl’s essay was the first on Dante to have been selected. In her acceptance speech, Kuehl compared Virgil with DiLorenzo, noting that they were both instructors.
“However, while Virgil did not have hope, DiLorenzo did,” she said.