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" If the world be promiscuously described, I cannot see of what use it can be to read the account; or why it may not be as safe to turn the eye immediately upon mankind as upon a ' mirror which shows all that presents itself without discrimination. "
Encyclopaedia Britannica; Or A Dictionary of Arts, Sciences, and ... - Page 75
1823
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The Mirror and the Lamp: Romantic Theory and the Critical Tradition

Meyer Howard Abrams - Social Science - 1958 - 406 pages
...necessary 'to distinguish those parts of nature which are most proper for imitation,' for it would 'be as safe to turn the eye immediately upon mankind, as upon a mirrour which shows all that presents itself without discrimination.' 10 In recent criticism (as, to...
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A Critical History of English Literature: The Restoration to 1800, Volume 3

David Daiches - 1979 - 319 pages
...discoloured by passion, or deformed by wickedness. If the world be promiscuously described, I cannot see of what use it can be to read the account; or why...safe to turn the eye immediately upon mankind as upon t ' which shows all that presents itself without discrimination. Equally dangerous and equally detestable...
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The Cambridge History of Literary Criticism: Volume 5, Romanticism

George Alexander Kennedy, Marshall Brown, Glyn P. Norton, H. B. Nisbet, Alastair J. Minnis, Ian Johnson, Claude Rawson, Christa Knellwolf, A. Walton Litz, Louis Menand, Raman Selden, Rafey Habib, Lawrence Rainey, Christopher Norris, Christa Knellwolf King - Literary Criticism - 1989 - 506 pages
...allegorical Eastern tale, Rasselas (1759). Johnson prefers reality to mere realism: 'I cannot see . . . why it may not be as safe to turn the eye immediately...all that presents itself without discrimination.' The distance traversed in the Romantic period can be measured by noting that what Johnson hates is...
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Desire and Truth: Functions of Plot in Eighteenth-Century English Novels

Patricia Meyer Spacks - Literary Criticism - 1994 - 272 pages
...Johnson's distaste for realism is notorious: "If the world he promiscuously described, I cannot see of what use it can be to read the account; or why...shows all that presents itself without discrimination" (Rambler no. 4, 31 March 1750; 3: 22). He considers it neither useful nor appropriate for the novelist...
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Wordsworth's Pope: A Study in Literary Historiography

Robert J. Griffin, Robert J. (tel-Aviv University) - Literary Criticism - 1995 - 190 pages
...precisely not mirror-like, but is highly selective: "If the world be promiscuously described, I cannot see of what use it can be to read the account; or why...may not be as safe to turn the eye immediately upon nature, as upon a mirror which shows all that presents itself without discrimination." w All art may...
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Telling Time: Clocks, Diaries, and English Diurnal Form, 1660-1785

Stuart Sherman - Literary Criticism - 1996 - 323 pages
...on novels, for example, Johnson argues that "If the world be promiscuously described, I cannot see of what use it can be to read the account; or why...shows all that presents itself without discrimination" (R 4; 3.22). That "promiscuous description" that Johnson here abjures for other written accounts of...
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Realismustheorien in England (1692-1919)

Walter F. Greiner, Fritz Kemmler - Criticism - 1997 - 230 pages
...wickedness. If the world be promiscuously described, I cannot see of what use it can be to read the 65 account: or why it may not be as safe to turn the eye immediately upon mankind as upon a mirrour which shews all that presents itself without discrimination. 12. [ANONYMOUS] (1751) Aus An...
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The True Story of the Novel

Margaret Anne Doody - Literary Criticism - 1997 - 580 pages
...world be promiscuously described, I cannot see of what use it can be to read the accoum; or why is may not be as safe to turn the eye immediately upon mankind , , ," iRambler No, 4 [March 1750], Works, IV: 23t, A novel cannot really be a mirror, reflecting without...
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In Defence of Realism

Raymond Tallis - Literary Criticism - 1998 - 220 pages
...Anthology, (London: Picador, 1972). If the world be promiscuously described, I cannot see of what use if can be to read the account; or why it may not be as safe to turn the eyes immediately upon mankind as upon a mirror which shows all that presents itself without discrimination.21...
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Samuel Johnson's "general Nature": Tradition and Transition in Eighteenth ...

Scott D. Evans - Literary Criticism - 1999 - 168 pages
...nature, which are most proper for imitation. ... If the world be promiscuously described, I cannot see of what use it can be to read the account; or why...shows all that presents itself without discrimination. (3.22) Johnson's objection here to "promiscuous" description of the world is primarily moral, but similar...
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