A Poetics of Annotation: Alexander Pope's Footnotes
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Studies of Alexander Pope's poetry tend to examine only the footnotes to his Dunciads, if they examine his footnotes at all. This dissertation will address this deficit in our understanding of Pope's poetics through an examination of Pope's use of footnotes in support of his verse throughout his career. With Gerard Genette's taxonomy of footnotes as variously paratext and text and Hugh Kenner's idea of the technological space of the printed page as frameworks within which Pope's footnotes operate, this dissertation will show that – over the course of his career – Pope developed a poetics of annotation that deployed footnotes rhetorically as appeals to ethos and pathos that both built up Pope's own authorial ethos for his audience in the literary market place of early eighteenth-century London and for posterity and used that authorial ethos in support of his literary and political friends.