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Abyssinia's Samuel Johnson – Ethiopian Thought in the Making of an English Author - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Abyssinia's Samuel Johnson: Ethiopian Thought in the Making of an English Author

Wendy Laura Belcher


As a very young man, one of the most celebrated English authors of the eighteenth century translated a tome about Ethiopia. This experience permanently marked Samuel Johnson, leaving traces of the African discourse he encountered in that text in his drama Irene;several of his short stories; and his most famous fiction, Rasselas. This book provides a much needed perspective in comparative literature and postcolonial studies on the power of the discourse of the other to infuse European texts. This book illuminates how the Western literary canon is globally produced by developing the powerful met ... More

Keywords: Samuel Johnson, African influences, African discourse, eighteenth-century english literature, Ethiopian influences, Ethiopian discourse, discursive possession, transcultural intertextuality

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2012 Print ISBN-13: 9780199793211
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199793211.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Wendy Laura Belcher, author
Princeton University