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" For this reason these familiar histories may perhaps be made of greater use than the solemnities of professed morality, and convey the knowledge of vice and virtue with more efficacy than axioms and definitions. But if the power of example is so great... "
Encyclopaedia Britannica; Or A Dictionary of Arts, Sciences, and ... - Page 75
1823
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The Cambridge History of Literary Criticism: Volume 4, The Eighteenth Century

George Alexander Kennedy, H. B. Nisbet, Claude Rawson, Raman Selden - Literary Criticism - 1989 - 970 pages
...pedagogic promise and a pedagogic danger: [TJhese familiar histories may perhaps be made of greater use than the solemnities of professed morality, and convey...memory by a kind of violence, and produce effects almost without the intervention of the will, care ought to be taken, that when the choice is unrestrained,...
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Fictions of Reality in the Age of Hume and Johnson

Leopold Damrosch - Literary Criticism - 1989 - 262 pages
...Johnson states plainly in Rambler No. 4 when he warns that modern fiction may overwhelm rational control, "take possession of the memory by a kind of violence, and produce effects almost without the intervention of the will." Hume, brooding about the force of irrational convictions...
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Desire and Truth: Functions of Plot in Eighteenth-Century English Novels

Patricia Meyer Spacks - Literary Criticism - 1994 - 272 pages
...unpredictably activated by reading. Fiction can take possession of its readers, as a seducer might. But if the power of example is so great, as to take...memory by a kind of violence, and produce effects almost without the intervention of the will, care ought to be taken that, when the choice is unrestrained,...
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Eighteenth-Century Sensibility and the Novel: The Senses in Social Context

Ann Jessie van Sant - Literary Criticism - 2004 - 143 pages
...(p. 130). 28 Johnson, The Rambler, The Tale Edition of the Works of Samuel Johnson, III, 19-25. 29 "[T]he power of example is so great, as to take possession...memory by a kind of violence, and produce effects almost without the intervention of the will." Ibid., p. 22. 30 We find an exception in the Preface...
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Impure Reason: Dialectic of Enlightenment in Germany

W. Daniel Wilson, Robert C. Holub - Philosophy - 1993 - 495 pages
...he continues in the same installment, "these familiar histories may perhaps be made of greater use than the solemnities of professed morality, and convey...virtue with more efficacy than axioms and definitions" (1: 20). Here Johnson does not yet seem to perceive the contradiction between imagination and the normative...
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The Columbia History of the British Novel

John Richetti, John Bender, Deirdre David, Michael Seidel - Literary Criticism - 1994 - 1064 pages
...identification that recent "familiar histories" like Clarissa and Tom Jones induce in their readers: "If the power of example is so great, as to take possession...memory by a kind of violence, and produce effects almost without the intervention of the will, care ought to be taken that . . . the best examples only...
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A New Species of Criticism: Eighteenth-century Discourse on the Novel

Joseph F. Bartolomeo - Literary Criticism - 1994 - 209 pages
...114 According to Johnson, the effect of fiction on impressionable minds 115 necessitates regulation: If the power of example is so great, as to take possession...memory by a kind of violence, and produce effects almost without the intervention of the will, care ought to be taken that, when the choice is unrestrained,...
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Somatic Fictions: Imagining Illness in Victorian Culture

Athena Vrettos - Literary Criticism - 1995 - 250 pages
...these debates, which go back to Samuel Johnson's cautions against the danger of fictional examples: if the power of example is so great as "to take possession...memory by a kind of violence, and produce effects almost without the intervention of the will, care ought to be taken that . . . the best examples only...
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The Politics of Sensibility: Race, Gender and Commerce in the Sentimental Novel

Markman Ellis - Literary Criticism - 2004 - 280 pages
...'levelled with the rest of the world') means that 'these familiar histories may perhaps be made greater use than the solemnities of professed morality, and convey...with more efficacy than axioms and definitions'." Novels may (indeed, Johnson argues, should) exhibit only the 'best examples', and in this way, teach...
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Reading Daughters' Fictions 1709-1834: Novels and Society from Manley to ...

Caroline Gonda - Literary Criticism - 1996 - 287 pages
...fiction's 'Power of Example': a power which, Johnson suggested, needed careful management since it was 'so great, as to take possession of the memory by a kind of violence, and produce effects almost without the intervention of the will'. 102 Even in novels which have an acceptable, explicit...
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