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Like Johnson himself, the community of his devoted readers is divided in its attitude to the academy. Some Johnsonians are enthusiastic followers of the Great Cham striving to achieve the envied status of Johnsonianissimus without the taint of academic criticism; others are academics first and devotees of Johnson second. These humanistic scholars are often concerned with the text of Johnson, whereas the Johnsonians are concerned with his personality. A contest between these biographers, on the one hand, and those bibliographers, on the other, played itself out in the history of the Yale Edition of the Works of Samuel Johnson, twenty-three volumes (1958–2018). The impetus for the edition came largely from Johnsonians, but as time wore on, the academics became gradually more influential, and their approach eventually prevailed. This chapter is a kind of archaeology of the edition and reveals this shift in emphasis over time and a difference between American and British approaches to literary criticism.
The Great Migration ended in 1970 as manufacturing was replaced with electronic goods. Wages stagnated, and income inequality increased rapidly. This led to a new Gilded Age. Nixon replaced Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty with his War on Drugs. Blacks were opposed to Nixon’s Vietnam War, and he penalized them by incarcerating them. This, helped by state laws and President Reagan, led to mass incarceration – which became known as the New Jim Crow. Public education was reserved for suburban whites, while urban Blacks were in prison or attended underfunded schools. The Flint, Michigan, water crisis demonstrates the difficulty of urban Blacks as jobs and urban facilities disappeared. President Obama was the first Black president, elected in the financial crisis of 2008. The Supreme Court nullified the 1965 Voting Act as it had done with amendments in the 1880s. Obamacare was the most enduring achievements of Obama’s presidency.
Looking at the Korean and Vietnam Wars, we evaluate the influence of casualties disaggregated by space/hometowns and time on mass opinion in both the Korean and Vietnam wars and on individual opinion in the Vietnam War. We find a powerful connection between US casualties and public support for a war consistent with our expectations about the importance of casualty trends, the geographic locations of casualty hometowns, and the interaction of these dynamics. Disaggregated casualties are better able to capture variation in mass public and individual wartime opinion than are logged cumulative national casualties – the standard wartime measure employed. We also find that the wartime information-opinion process operates more strongly in the ex ante identifiable early stages of a conflict, and less effectively later in a conflict when casualty expectations (and thus the value of new information) begin to harden. These results strongly support the general notion that casualty patterns act as an observable proxy for our RP/ETC process by capturing information that individuals draw on to generate ETC and formulate wartime positions, improving our ability to understand and predict wartime opinion.
This chapter surveys the origins of aesthetics in eighteenth-century literary criticism, as major poets were examined in the light of concepts such as ‘beauty’. The treatment of art as a topic for moral thought gave a more polite, philosophical turn to the hitherto raucous and satirical character of early eighteenth-century critical practice. The chapter examines the development of thought about form and psychology encouraged by seventeenth-century French critics, followed by Addison, Shaftesbury, and later thinkers such as Burke, who presaged the gothic. Particular attention is given to Hume, Alison and Gerard, together with other Scots theorists of ‘belles lettres’. The discussion charts the increasing influence on criticism of such terms as ‘sublime,’ ‘taste,’ ‘genius,’ ‘originality,’ ‘imagination, and ‘art’ itself. An important element is the place of creative writers as aesthetic theorists, such as Pope, Joseph Warton, and Edward Young. Nor is the period’s greatest critic, Samuel Johnson, immune to the vocabulary of aesthetics. The contribution of visual artists is illustrated by the writings of Hogarth and Reynolds, while a final section examines theory’s relation to practice.
Samuel Johnson’s Dictionary of the English Language (1755) has long had a reputation as the ‘first English dictionary’, despite the dozens of dictionaries that had appeared in the century and a half before Johnson’s. There are few ways in which Johnson’s book can be truly considered a ‘first’, since nearly all his contributions to dictionary-making had precedents in classical and European lexicography. He did, however, introduce some innovations in English lexicography, including grounding his wordlist in the works of English authors, discerning subtle shades of meaning in numbered senses, and providing extensive quotations showing the words in context. Together, these qualities made Johnson’s Dictionary, though not a chronological ‘first’, still the first English dictionary to be widely regarded as the standard of the English language.
Early eighteenth-century dictionaries departed from the hard-word tradition to include common words for a wider and expanding audience. Bailey s dictionaries (1721, 1730) provided comprehensive coverage of information of all kinds, not only linguistic, but were found lacking in clarity and lexicographic sophistication. Increasing desire for an authoritative standard for the language prompted Johnson s work on his dictionary of 1755. In this dictionary, he raised the standards of lexicography in regard to definitions (especially multiple ones), phrasal verbs, and other aspects, including the illustration of usage through the use of written authorities; however, he abandoned his hopes and intentions of fixing the language (prescriptivism) in the midst of his work, turning to a more descriptive model of English written usage. The change in method and approach occurred after the failure of his attempts to order literary and other written material he consulted into pre-ordained structures of definition. Concerns for proper speaking and spelling became louder throughout the century, because of the rapidly increasing and increasingly mobile population, as well as the Act of Union of 1707, uniting England and Scotland. Dictionary makers increasingly included guides to pronunciation and spelling in reaction to these concerns, and numerous pronouncing dictionaries appeared from mid-century onwards.
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