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Dickens and the Stenographic Mind$
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Hugo Bowles

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780198829072

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198829072.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 18 January 2021

Stenographic literacy

Stenographic literacy

(p.152) 8 Stenographic literacy
Dickens and the Stenographic Mind

Hugo Bowles

Oxford University Press

The overall argument of the book is that the influence of Gurney shorthand on Dickens created a form of stenographic literacy (the stenographic mind) which he passed on to his readers. Section 8.1 of this concluding chapter introduces the ideas of foreignization and domestication and argues that Dickens’s stenographic mind enabled him to recalibrate the balance between the two and connect with a wider readership. Section 8.2 stresses how stenography helped Dickens exploit the pleasure of word play to motivate and enthuse his readers, while section 8.3 explains how this exploitation became a way to control his readers’ voices. Section 8.4 argues that the Gurney system, with its emphasis on the creative manipulations of vowels, constituted a pedagogy for reading spoken words and hearing written ones, which Dickens acquired at Doctors Commons and passed on to his readers in a learnable literary form.

Keywords:   literacy, foreignization, domestication, play, pleasure, pedagogy, learnability, control, reader, readership

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