Chapter

Reader's Digestion: The Compensations of Literature

Josephine Mcdonagh

in De Quincey's Disciplines

Published in print June 1994 | ISBN: 9780198112853
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191670862 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198112853.003.0004
Reader's Digestion: The Compensations of Literature

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De Quincey, as he expressed in ‘Letters to a Young Man whose Education has been Neglected’, experiences a certain degree of discomfort when he enters a library. He felt misery upon realizing that he would not be able to read all of the books that the library contains as his life is finite, and he articulates this in terms of a mathematical sublime in which something with great magnitude is in contrast with itself. De Quincey concerned himself with the printing expansion and book circulations during the first part of the nineteenth century, since this allowed the wide spread of seditious material, and he found the printing industry to represent the various changes and industrialization that would soon shape society. As changes in social class and demography will be experienced, industrial production is found to be a problem of consumer choice. In this chapter, we analyse literary criticisms regarding market problems and how the consumers may be classified as the amateur or general reader, and the critic or professional reader.

Keywords: Young Man; consumer choice; market problems; industrialization; professional reader; amateur reader

Chapter.  10499 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (19th Century)

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