‘Aber mein Lieber Schneider’: The Printer as a Media Actor and the Drama of Production in Then Swänska Argus (1732–34)

  • Tilda Maria Forselius University of Gothenburg


Then Swänska Argus, a weekly journal in the Spectator pattern, was published in Stockholm between 1732 and 1734. Whereas the editor and author Olof Dalin (1708–63) has gained much fame for the enterprise, not much is known about the printer Benjamin Gottlieb Schneider (16??–1738). In this essay I focus on the available evidence about the printer and printing conditions, as well as on the fact that several essays and shorter segments in Then Swänska Argus are addressed to the printer or deal with printing issues. My thesis is that this content played a part in the identity formation of the medium, as it stands for the editor’s interest in the printer and related technology at a time when the moral weekly was new in Sweden. By displaying the making of the medium and the difficulties around it, these passages enable readers to witness the drama of production where the printer plays a leading role. Furthermore, as the narrator Argus is addressing the readers directly and pleading with them to be loyal followers in spite of the printing errors or other potential problems, Argus is also making them actively aware of their part in this drama. In so doing, an education of the readership in questions pertaining to the production process is taking place.

Author Biography

Tilda Maria Forselius, University of Gothenburg
Tilda Maria Forselius is a Swedish scholar in Comparative Literature. During most of her career she has been working as a journalist and journal editor. She received her PhD from the University of Gothenburg in 2013 and is currently a collaborator in the research network Spectators in Europe, Graz Spectator Research Group, University of Graz, Austria, gams.uni-graz.at/mws.
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