bibliographic ego

Loewenstein, Joseph. “The Script in the Marketplace.” Representations 12 (Autumn 1985): 101-114. (Subscription required.)

The list of Ben Jonson’s permanent contributions to English literary convention…has regularly included that major contribution to the development of literary marketing, the publication of the folio Workes of Benjamin Jonson. The volume appeared in 1616, well before it could be decently represented as posthumous. This publication has frequently been remarked on, but such remark has almost inevitably subsided into reflections on Jonson’s vanity; in these more sympathetic times, we incline to speak of the charm of his vanity. I should like to treat the event a bit more technically and insist that critical responses to Jonson’s authorial vanity are in fact quite telling; that we make such remarks is offhanded testimony to the permanent effects of this particular publication, indirect evidence that the 1616 Workes marks a major event in the history of what one might call the bibliographic ego. (101)

Thanks to Laurie for the reference.

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One thought on “bibliographic ego

  1. No problem, G. I hope you found it useful. I look forward to hearing your thoughts when we meet up in London!

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