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Pope, Curll, and the intermediality of eighteenth-century character

(2012) WORD & IMAGE. 28(3). p.273-286
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Abstract
In this article I reexamine eighteenth-century “character” by rearticulating it with the period’s media ecologies. I argue that Britons perceived a particularly close relationship between familiar letters and character, and that the study of published familiar correspondence has the potential to reveal eighteenth-century character as a fundamentally relational form of identity. To make my case I discuss the mediations of character that governed the publication of Alexander Pope’s familiar correspondence on a massive scale (1735-42). By paying attention not only to the text of the letters but also to the portrait engravings and other visual elements that were integral to the letters’ publication and reception, I show that character in the eighteenth century was invariably linked to the media forms through which it circulated: character could not be thought apart from the technologies of inscription or imprinting, the reading materials, and the infrastructures that facilitated its inscription and dissemination. However Pope’s character was formulated, it therefore inevitably emerged as an interface between media forms and their users. In articulating the print publication of Pope’s familiar letters with the formulation and circulation of character, I aim to show that mediation was fundamental to the very constitution of character in eighteenth-century Britain.
Keywords
materiality, letters, print, character, mediation, portraiture

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MLA
Hammerschmidt, Sören. “Pope, Curll, and the Intermediality of Eighteenth-Century Character.” WORD & IMAGE, vol. 28, no. 3, 2012, pp. 273–86, doi:10.1080/02666286.2012.721533.
APA
Hammerschmidt, S. (2012). Pope, Curll, and the intermediality of eighteenth-century character. WORD & IMAGE, 28(3), 273–286. https://doi.org/10.1080/02666286.2012.721533
Chicago author-date
Hammerschmidt, Sören. 2012. “Pope, Curll, and the Intermediality of Eighteenth-Century Character.” WORD & IMAGE 28 (3): 273–86. https://doi.org/10.1080/02666286.2012.721533.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Hammerschmidt, Sören. 2012. “Pope, Curll, and the Intermediality of Eighteenth-Century Character.” WORD & IMAGE 28 (3): 273–286. doi:10.1080/02666286.2012.721533.
Vancouver
1.
Hammerschmidt S. Pope, Curll, and the intermediality of eighteenth-century character. WORD & IMAGE. 2012;28(3):273–86.
IEEE
[1]
S. Hammerschmidt, “Pope, Curll, and the intermediality of eighteenth-century character,” WORD & IMAGE, vol. 28, no. 3, pp. 273–286, 2012.
@article{2974375,
  abstract     = {{In this article I reexamine eighteenth-century “character” by rearticulating it with the period’s media ecologies. I argue that Britons perceived a particularly close relationship between familiar letters and character, and that the study of published familiar correspondence has the potential to reveal eighteenth-century character as a fundamentally relational form of identity. To make my case I discuss the mediations of character that governed the publication of Alexander Pope’s familiar correspondence on a massive scale (1735-42). By paying attention not only to the text of the letters but also to the portrait engravings and other visual elements that were integral to the letters’ publication and reception, I show that character in the eighteenth century was invariably linked to the media forms through which it circulated: character could not be thought apart from the technologies of inscription or imprinting, the reading materials, and the infrastructures that facilitated its inscription and dissemination. However Pope’s character was formulated, it therefore inevitably emerged as an interface between media forms and their users. In articulating the print publication of Pope’s familiar letters with the formulation and circulation of character, I aim to show that mediation was fundamental to the very constitution of character in eighteenth-century Britain.}},
  author       = {{Hammerschmidt, Sören}},
  issn         = {{0266-6286}},
  journal      = {{WORD & IMAGE}},
  keywords     = {{materiality,letters,print,character,mediation,portraiture}},
  language     = {{eng}},
  number       = {{3}},
  pages        = {{273--286}},
  title        = {{Pope, Curll, and the intermediality of eighteenth-century character}},
  url          = {{http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02666286.2012.721533}},
  volume       = {{28}},
  year         = {{2012}},
}

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