Johnson, Writing, and Memory

By Greg Clingham | Go to book overview

JOHNSON, WRITING, AND MEMORY

Johnson, Writing, and Memory demonstrates the importance of memory in Samuel Johnson's œuvre. Greg Clingham argues that this is a notion of memory that is derived from the process of historical and creative writing, and is found to be embodied in works of literature and other cultural forms. He examines Johnson's writing, including his biographical writing, as it intersects with eighteenth-century thought on literature, history, fiction, and law, and in its subsequent compatibility with, and resistance to, modern theory. Clingham's widely researched study provides an account of Johnson's intellectual positions that incorporates the challenges they pose to recent critical theory, and argues for Johnson's inclusion in a new theorization of terms such as “authority, ” “nature, ” and “memory. ” Clingham does this work of intellectual abstraction while remaining focused in the concrete realities of Johnson's writing itself, offering a theoretically nuanced and original account of Johnson's work.

Greg glingham is Professor of English and Director of the University Press at Bucknell University. He has written and co-written several books, including Questioning History: The Postmodern Turn to the Eighteenth Century (1998), Making History: Textuality and the Forms of Eighteenth-Century Culture (1998), The Cambridge Companion to Samuel Johnson (Cambridge, 1997), and Literary Transmission and Authority: Dryden and Other Writers (Cambridge, 1993).

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Johnson, Writing, and Memory
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgements viii
  • Abbreviations x
  • Introduction - Johnson and Authority 1
  • Chapter 1 - Johnson and Memory 14
  • Chapter 2 - Johnson and Nature 36
  • Chapter 3 - Law, Narrative, and Memory 60
  • Chapter 4 - Narrative, History, and Memory in the Lives of the Poets 89
  • Chapter 5 - Translation and Memory in the Lives of the Poets 122
  • Chapter 6 - Historiographical Implications 158
  • Notes 168
  • Bibliography 202
  • Index 216
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