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SAMUEL JOHNSON’S DICTIONARY OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE AND THE STRATEGIES OF LEXICOGRAPHIC MODERNITY
- Autor: Ruxandra VIȘAN
- An aparitie: 2009
- Numar de pagini: 304
- Format: B5
- ISBN: 978-973-737-749-4
“A dictionary is meant to be the inventory of a language and, implicitly, an inventory of the world. Since it functions as an inventory of the world, as a means of capturing the constants of knowledge (Sloterdijk 1983) a dictionary makes a contribution to the shaping of the cultural environment where it belongs. My aim is to examine the part played by one of the most influential texts of the British Enlightemment, Samuel Johnson’s Dictionary of the English Language 1755, in the shaping of the cultural discourse of the eighteenth century, seen as the age of “classic modernity”. Looking upon the eighteenth century as the age finally responsible for the discursive rupture between modernity and premodernity (Harvey 1990), I will attempt to show how Samuel Johnson’s Dictionary emerges as a model of authority in the British Enlightenment. Adopting a definition of modernity which identifies the task of order as one of the (impossible) tasks that modernity sets for itself (Bauman 2000), I will try to examine the manner in which Johnson’s Dictionary shapes and at the same time reflects this ideal”. (Ruxandra Vișan)
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