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A litotes of what you fancy: some thoughts on Stanley Hollander's writing style

Stephen Brown (Department of Marketing, Entrepreneurship and Strategy, University of Ulster, Jordanstown, UK)

Journal of Historical Research in Marketing

ISSN: 1755-750X

Article publication date: 20 March 2009




The purpose of the paper is to investigate the writing style of Stanley C. Hollander, in order to better understand the power of his prose.


A line‐by‐line literary analysis of Hollander's publications, with a view to detecting his stylistic “signature” or “fingerprint”.


Four key elements are integral to Hollander's writing style – interrogatives, inventories, iconoclasm and irony. His single most characteristic literary device is litotes, a mode of ironic understatement.

Research limitations/implications

Literary analysis is inherently idiosyncratic and tends to reflect the perspective of the interpreter. Another analyst is sure to find different features in Hollander's corpus (though this is less a methodological shortcoming than a testament to the richness of Hollander's writings).


All academics are writers and, by better understanding the technique of a much admired stylist, everyone's publications can be improved.



Brown, S. (2009), "A litotes of what you fancy: some thoughts on Stanley Hollander's writing style", Journal of Historical Research in Marketing, Vol. 1 No. 1, pp. 74-92.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2009, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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