I just learned from a post on the WPA-L mailing list that Wayne Booth passed away yesterday. According to the Wikipedia entry on him I link to above, he was 84, and according to the discussion on WPA-L, he had Alzheimer’s.
I have kind of have a soft-spot for Booth’s work because one of my first “big” projects as a Ph.D. student a dozen years ago now was to give a presentation on Booth’s work in a rhetorical theory class. I hadn’t read much of his work before that assignment, but I ended up reading quite a bit for that class spiel. I especially remember a book he wrote called The Company We Keep, which I remember being a particularly readable and humane alternative to some of the theory I was trying to digest. And I am hoping to soon get on with reading Booth’s last book, The Rhetoric of Rhetoric.
Thanks for the inspiration and fine words, Dr. Booth.