Cruel Mockeries

Richard Cronin

in Paper Pellets

Published in print June 2010 | ISBN: 9780199582532
Published online September 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191722929 | DOI:
Cruel Mockeries

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  • Literary Studies (19th Century)


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The chapter identifies as characteristic of the writing of the period a taste for the superficial that can at times express itself in a kind of heartlessness. It is a product, the chapter argues, of new modes of reading, most closely associated with magazines, that encouraged skipping and skimming through the page rather than slowly digesting it. It is a disposition that can prompt even a sentimental writer such as Charles Lamb to describe a crippled beggar as ‘a grand fragment; as good as an Elgin marble’.

Keywords: Austen; Pierce Egan; Walter Scott; Charles Lamb; magazines; De Quincey; Don Juan

Chapter.  7484 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (19th Century)

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