Print, chaos, and complexity : Samuel Johnson and eighteenth-century media culture /
Mark E. Wildermuth.
Newark [Del.] : University of Delware Press, c2008.
197 p. ; 24 cm.
0874130328 (alk. paper), 9780874130324 (alk. paper)
More Details
Newark [Del.] : University of Delware Press, c2008.
0874130328 (alk. paper)
9780874130324 (alk. paper)
contents note
Textual instability, print, and complex dynamics in the Johsonian mediated cultural milieu -- Pope as a precursor to Johnson : the mediation of chaos and order in An essay on man -- Complexity and mediated culture in Johnson's moral periodical prose -- Johnson's politics in the milieu of informatics -- Samuel Johnson, mediation, representation, and the aesthetics of complex dynamics.
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references (p. 186-193) and index.
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Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2009-03-01:
With Printing Technology, Letters, and Samuel Johnson (1987), Alvin Kernan was among the first to consider Johnson's career in the context of "print culture." Wildermuth (Univ. of Texas, Permian Basin) revisits the territory, but where Kernan saw print as a source of stability, Wildermuth sees instability and complexity. In this he is following recent book historians, including Adrian Johns (Nature of the Book, CH, Feb'99, 36-3122), Robert Markley (Fallen Languages, 1993), and David McKitterick (Print, Manuscript and the Search for Order, 1450-1830 (2003). Wildermuth views this complexity through the lens of modern chaos theory and fractal mathematics. After a chapter on Alexander Pope's Essay on Man (1734), the author turns to Johnson's nonfiction prose, including his ethical, critical, linguistic, and political writings, treating Johnson as a "chaologist" or "chaotician" before the fact. Drawing on 18th-century prose, chaos theory, and literary theory, Wildermuth's prose can be dense and demanding, and the book is sometimes too abstract (undergraduates will likely be frightened away). Advanced readers will benefit from the wide-ranging investigation of Johnson's relation to the world of print. Summing Up: Recommended. Graduate students, researchers, faculty. J. T. Lynch Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Newark
This item was reviewed in:
Reference & Research Book News, November 2008
Choice, March 2009
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Table of Contents
Acknowledgmentsp. 9
Introductionp. 13
Textual Instability, Print, and Complex Dynamics in the Johnsonian Mediated Cultural Milieup. 25
Pope as a Precursor to Johnson: The Mediation of Chaos and Order in An Essay on Manp. 62
Complexity and Mediated Culture in Johnson's Moral Periodical Prosep. 88
Johnson's Politics in the Milieu of Informaticsp. 109
Samuel Johnson, Mediation, Representation, and the Aesthetics of Complex Dynamicsp. 135
Conclusionp. 163
Notesp. 171
Bibliographyp. 186
Indexp. 194
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

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