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Chapter 9 - The Eighteenth Century

Print, Professionalization, and Defining the Author

from Part I - Historical Perspectives

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  07 June 2019

Ingo Berensmeyer
Affiliation:
Justus-Liebig-Universität Giessen, Germany
Gert Buelens
Affiliation:
Universiteit Gent, Belgium
Marysa Demoor
Affiliation:
University of Ghent
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Summary

We shall next declare the occasion and the cause which moved our poet to this particular work. He lived in those days, when (after Providence had permitted the invention of printing as a scourge for the sins of the learned) paper also became so cheap, and printers so numerous, that a deluge of authors covered the land: […] At the same time, the licence of the press was such, that it grew dangerous to refuse them either [applause or money]; for they would forthwith publish slanders unpunished, the authors being anonymous, and skulking under the wings of publishers. (Alexander Pope, “Martinus Scriblerus of the Poem,” The Dunciad, 1728)

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2019

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