An Introduction to Apomnemonysis

Apomnemonysis is a figure which consists in the precise quoting of an approved authority from memory. The device simply involves the use of example and the quotation of approved authority for the purpose of supporting an argument or opinion.

Notable Examples
  • “God hath given me the gift of knowledge but not of utterance. And Solomon sayth, that a woman of few words, is a gift of God.”
  • “He is well acquainted with my MS., and I just copied into the middle of the blank sheet the words –
    - Un dessein si funeste,
    S’il n’est digne d’Atrée, est digne de Thyeste.
    They are to be found in Crébillon’s ‘Atrée.’”
    (“The Purloined Letter,” 6:52)
  • An example of the Holy Scripture: O hypocrites Isaiah prophesied well of you, saying: “This people draweth near unto me with their mouth and honoured me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.
    — (Isaiah 29:13)
Further Readings:
Brett Zimmerman | Edgar Allan Poe: Rhetoric and Style: ApomnemonysisOpens in new window