[Chapter 3, note 21, of the author's Carlyle and the Search for Authority, which the Ohio State University Press published in 1991. It appears in the Victorian web with the kind permission of the author, who of course retains copyright. indicates a link to material not in the original print version. GPL]

Later, Carlyle associated contemporary English literature with industrial mechanization as well as urban capitalism. "Literature, too," he wrote in "Signs of the Times," "has its Paternoster-row mechanism, its Trade dinners, its Editorial conclaves, and huge subterranean, puffing bellows; so that books are not only printed, but, in a great measure, written arid sold, by machinery" (CME, 2:62). Mechanization, he claimed elsewhere, was helping to make literature a commodity, just another "species of Brewing or Cookery" (CL, 5:149). Through such comments, Carlyle attempts to sustain a distinction between literature and the mere products of print (see TNB, 174>


Contents last modified 26 October 2001