ABSTRACT Long recognized as staples of an emergent print culture, English apparition narratives of the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries depicted the materialization not only of spiritual forms but also of literature——writing, and especially printed writing——itself. Equally long recognized as an important, if ambiguous, text in the history of the early novel, Daniel Defoe's Journal of the Plague Year (1722) is in fact interwoven with contemporary practices of apparition narrative. Read in relation to those practices, the Journal opens a metanarrative about the symbolic and epistemological——the literally supernatural——dimensions of the printed page at a pivotal moment in its history.
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