Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Dickens and the Stenographic Mind$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Hugo Bowles

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780198829072

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198829072.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 04 April 2020

Despotic reading

Despotic reading

Chapter:
(p.48) 3 Despotic reading
Source:
Dickens and the Stenographic Mind
Author(s):

Hugo Bowles

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198829072.003.0004

This chapter focuses on the reading of the ‘despotic’ Gurney script, which was so different from the Roman script that Dickens was used to decoding (section 3.1). It explores how Dickens was able to emerge from his initial state of bewilderment, described in David Copperfield as a ‘sea of perplexity’, by training himself in visualizing its character shapes (section 3.2), sounding out the missing vowel sounds in the Gurney script (section 3.3), and inferencing their meaning (section 3.4). The process of decoding Gurney is then compared to episodes from Dickens’s own childhood reading at home and at school (section 3.5). The chapter argues that the Gurney system’s extra level of coding, which involved the graphic representation of letters rather than sounds, drastically diminished its learnability. Dickens’s undeciphered shorthand letters are used to illustrate these difficulties.

Keywords:   reading, code, visualization, sounding out, childhood, inferencing, learnability

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .