Athanasius Kircher in Literature Criticism from 1400-1800: Volume 245

(Literature Criticism from 1400-1800: Volume 245, published July 1, features entries on Athanasius Kircher and the Gotthold Ephraim Lessing plays Emilia Galotti and Nathan the Wise. This is the opening passage of the Kircher entry)

Athanasius Kircher


(Also wrote under the pseudonym Salvatore Imbroll) German scientist, linguist, mathematician, theologian, essayist, and philosopher.   A prominent late-Renaissance Neoplatonist and polymath, Athanasius Kircher is often characterized as...
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Just today rcvd the fine vol including T. Mann. In my modest opinion this is one of the most useful entries on TM to be found anywhere. I hope this will be recognized for the excellent work that it is thanks to the meticulous and creative editing of your staff and others. — Academic Advisor Dr. James Hardin on TCLC 312 Thomas Mann entry

Charles Dickens passed away June 9, 1870

“I was given to understand that whatever was unintelligible would be certainly Transcendental.”

–Charles Dickens, American Notes

Dickens’ Dream by Robert William Buss, 1875. Public domain image from Wikimedia Commons.

Yesterday was the 145th anniversary of Charles Dickens’ passing.

Dickens on Tobacco and Transcendentalism

Dickens visited the United States in 1842. He was appalled by the practice of chewing and spitting tobacco in public, calling Washington, D.C. “the headquarters of tobacco-tinctured saliva.” Initially suspicious of the “sect of philosophers” known as the Transcendentalists, Dickens warmed to them after discovering their association with his friend Thomas Carlyle.

From American Notes for General Circulation (London: Chapman and Hall, 1842), 1:133-134.

Style Tips for Concise Critical Writing

Over the years, we've compiled a list of useful stylistic tips for writing clear and concise critical essays. Here are a few of the more important:
  • Avoid unnecessary words and phrases used for stylistic punctuation: Indeed; quite; alas.
  • Strictly avoid use of the first person in either its singular or plural form.
  • Avoid the phrase “one of the most”; it is one of the most overused phrases we...
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