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De Quincey's Disciplines$
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Josephine McDonagh

Print publication date: 1994

Print ISBN-13: 9780198112853

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198112853.001.0001

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Reader's Digestion: The Compensations of Literature

Reader's Digestion: The Compensations of Literature

(p.66) 3 Reader's Digestion: The Compensations of Literature
De Quincey's Disciplines

Josephine Mcdonagh

Oxford University Press

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

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