Adam Rounce, Fame and Failure, 1720-1800

The Unfulfilled Literary Life.

    Research output: Contribution to journalBook/Film/Article review

    Abstract

    Can a writer be a successful failure? How might we piece together a scale of literary success or failure, whether in material or metaphysical terms? Does one author’s success (or failure) impact upon, and thereby alter, that of his or her peers? If an author garners acclaim for work in one genre, mode or style but not in others, is he or she a qualified success? Is literary fame an admirable, even enviable, substitute for personal disappointments? What, above all, is failed authorship? Is it a real-time designation or one open to posthumous correction? In the Age of Johnson, of course, the eponymous Samuel Johnson’s endless labours on the Dictionary, the edition of Shakespeare, and the consortium-funded Lives of the Most Eminent English Poets (1779–1781) best exemplified the life of achievement as one that overcomes years of adversity. Johnson’s projects inspired similar, if more humble (or quirky, uncanonical) endeavours, such as Percival Stockdale’s rather fascinating Lectures on the Truly Eminent English Poets (1807), a haughty riposte to Johnson’s Lives. Judged against Johnson, many writers of the period might be glibly dismissed as failures. After all, along with Sir Joshua Reynolds and other leading cultural bastions, Johnson contributed to the ideal of the toiling literary or artistic career when he bemoaned the rise of a generation of writers in the mid-century, who sought a shortcut to fame by latching onto the language of original genius. ‘The mental disease of the present generation’, Johnson writes in The Rambler (p. 154) …
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)751-753
    Number of pages3
    JournalReview of English Studies
    Volume65
    Issue number271
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Sep 2014

    Fingerprint

    writer
    dictionary
    edition
    genre
    career
    Fame
    labor
    Disease
    present
    Writer
    language
    English Poet

    Cite this

    @article{1f5b7afb5dda487eb7f63a9a7d179792,
    title = "Adam Rounce, Fame and Failure, 1720-1800: The Unfulfilled Literary Life.",
    abstract = "Can a writer be a successful failure? How might we piece together a scale of literary success or failure, whether in material or metaphysical terms? Does one author’s success (or failure) impact upon, and thereby alter, that of his or her peers? If an author garners acclaim for work in one genre, mode or style but not in others, is he or she a qualified success? Is literary fame an admirable, even enviable, substitute for personal disappointments? What, above all, is failed authorship? Is it a real-time designation or one open to posthumous correction? In the Age of Johnson, of course, the eponymous Samuel Johnson’s endless labours on the Dictionary, the edition of Shakespeare, and the consortium-funded Lives of the Most Eminent English Poets (1779–1781) best exemplified the life of achievement as one that overcomes years of adversity. Johnson’s projects inspired similar, if more humble (or quirky, uncanonical) endeavours, such as Percival Stockdale’s rather fascinating Lectures on the Truly Eminent English Poets (1807), a haughty riposte to Johnson’s Lives. Judged against Johnson, many writers of the period might be glibly dismissed as failures. After all, along with Sir Joshua Reynolds and other leading cultural bastions, Johnson contributed to the ideal of the toiling literary or artistic career when he bemoaned the rise of a generation of writers in the mid-century, who sought a shortcut to fame by latching onto the language of original genius. ‘The mental disease of the present generation’, Johnson writes in The Rambler (p. 154) …",
    author = "Daniel Cook",
    year = "2014",
    month = "9",
    doi = "10.1093/res/hgu014",
    language = "English",
    volume = "65",
    pages = "751--753",
    journal = "Review of English Studies",
    issn = "0034-6551",
    publisher = "Oxford University Press",
    number = "271",

    }

    Adam Rounce, Fame and Failure, 1720-1800 : The Unfulfilled Literary Life. . / Cook, Daniel.

    In: Review of English Studies, Vol. 65, No. 271, 09.2014, p. 751-753.

    Research output: Contribution to journalBook/Film/Article review

    TY - JOUR

    T1 - Adam Rounce, Fame and Failure, 1720-1800

    T2 - The Unfulfilled Literary Life.

    AU - Cook, Daniel

    PY - 2014/9

    Y1 - 2014/9

    N2 - Can a writer be a successful failure? How might we piece together a scale of literary success or failure, whether in material or metaphysical terms? Does one author’s success (or failure) impact upon, and thereby alter, that of his or her peers? If an author garners acclaim for work in one genre, mode or style but not in others, is he or she a qualified success? Is literary fame an admirable, even enviable, substitute for personal disappointments? What, above all, is failed authorship? Is it a real-time designation or one open to posthumous correction? In the Age of Johnson, of course, the eponymous Samuel Johnson’s endless labours on the Dictionary, the edition of Shakespeare, and the consortium-funded Lives of the Most Eminent English Poets (1779–1781) best exemplified the life of achievement as one that overcomes years of adversity. Johnson’s projects inspired similar, if more humble (or quirky, uncanonical) endeavours, such as Percival Stockdale’s rather fascinating Lectures on the Truly Eminent English Poets (1807), a haughty riposte to Johnson’s Lives. Judged against Johnson, many writers of the period might be glibly dismissed as failures. After all, along with Sir Joshua Reynolds and other leading cultural bastions, Johnson contributed to the ideal of the toiling literary or artistic career when he bemoaned the rise of a generation of writers in the mid-century, who sought a shortcut to fame by latching onto the language of original genius. ‘The mental disease of the present generation’, Johnson writes in The Rambler (p. 154) …

    AB - Can a writer be a successful failure? How might we piece together a scale of literary success or failure, whether in material or metaphysical terms? Does one author’s success (or failure) impact upon, and thereby alter, that of his or her peers? If an author garners acclaim for work in one genre, mode or style but not in others, is he or she a qualified success? Is literary fame an admirable, even enviable, substitute for personal disappointments? What, above all, is failed authorship? Is it a real-time designation or one open to posthumous correction? In the Age of Johnson, of course, the eponymous Samuel Johnson’s endless labours on the Dictionary, the edition of Shakespeare, and the consortium-funded Lives of the Most Eminent English Poets (1779–1781) best exemplified the life of achievement as one that overcomes years of adversity. Johnson’s projects inspired similar, if more humble (or quirky, uncanonical) endeavours, such as Percival Stockdale’s rather fascinating Lectures on the Truly Eminent English Poets (1807), a haughty riposte to Johnson’s Lives. Judged against Johnson, many writers of the period might be glibly dismissed as failures. After all, along with Sir Joshua Reynolds and other leading cultural bastions, Johnson contributed to the ideal of the toiling literary or artistic career when he bemoaned the rise of a generation of writers in the mid-century, who sought a shortcut to fame by latching onto the language of original genius. ‘The mental disease of the present generation’, Johnson writes in The Rambler (p. 154) …

    U2 - 10.1093/res/hgu014

    DO - 10.1093/res/hgu014

    M3 - Book/Film/Article review

    VL - 65

    SP - 751

    EP - 753

    JO - Review of English Studies

    JF - Review of English Studies

    SN - 0034-6551

    IS - 271

    ER -