Lecture 2.3.10 Wed

Lecture 2.3.10 Wed - Samuel Johnson, R asselas (1759) 1....

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Samuel Johnson, Rasselas (1759) 1. The “Great Cham of Literature” Second half of eighteenth century referred to as the “age of Johnson” (a period that follows the Neoclassical age and precedes the Romantic, Victorian, and Modern periods): o The age of Johnson corresponds with the European Enlightenment – a period marked (in Immanuel Kant’s words) by “man’s emergence from his self-imposed immaturity”: Via the use of reason (the light that illuminates the darkness of ignorance, superstition, barbarism); Via a number of institutions, things, and processes such as the Royal Society; printed books; specific genres like the novel, the newspaper, and political economy; debate; scientific experiment; global commerce; and coffee. Samuel Johnson o Born 1709 in Lichfield, England, son of a bookseller; o Spent one year at Oxford; left without a degree; o Goes to London with his student, David Garrick; becomes a hack writer but also publishing Juvenalian satire (like “London” (1738) and “The Vanity of Human Wishes” (1749)) First book-length publication was a translation – from the French – of Father Jerome Lobo’s Voyage to Abyssinia (1735);
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o Starts his own periodical, The Rambler (1750-1752) Includes many imitation oriental tales; o Writes the great Dictionary of the English Language (1755) Eventually receives a royal pension for this; Canonical moment of literature moving to the market; o Publishes a number of works in a range of genres, including an edition of Shakespeare (1765) and his Lives of the Poets (1779-1781); o Dies in London, 1784 (buried in Westminster Abbey); o His friend, James Boswell, publishes his
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Lecture 2.3.10 Wed - Samuel Johnson, R asselas (1759) 1....

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