[E–book/E–pub] (The Life of Samuel Johnson)
A form of self service since he was connected with the deceased writer I can t imagine having someone like that around me hurrying off to jot very thing I said not that I m
At Risk For Such A Thing Besides risk for a thing Besides unpleasantness of the two principal characters this book has other flaws Its most notable one is its lack of organization Boswell just moves from one uip to the next interspersing conversations with Johnson s letters and diary The Fiend Next Door entries Boswell was incomparable for his attention to detail but he apparently was unable to step back and see the forest rather than just the trees Even Johnson s death is rendered as a series of disconnected pieces of information rather than a simple narrative In short Boswell saw life through a magnifying glass and it s hard to put together a map with a magnifying glass But this is not a book that attempts to conceal its flaws Rather it glories in its own imperfection And now that I think of it the most important message of Boswell s book might be this that the greatest things in life are great precisely because of their imperfections Boswell s Life of Johnson certainly is I might be tooxhausted from reading the thing to write a proper review Just holding it takes a toll on my sub ganymedic upper body The first thing to note is that I d much rather read Boswell than read of Johnson s letters Boswell s writing is like that of ighteenth century philosophers totally unselfconscious they simply say what they mean Later theoreticians will undermine a lot of it and try to find latent contradictions and so on but the fact is that most people are a pleasant nough mixture of pious fool and slatternly knave and Boswell and Johnson aren t interested in dissimulating about it The sheer volume of anecdote here means that you ll come away with a reasonable understanding of the important men and women of the time Goldsmith comes off wonderfully well I ll be much interested in seeing Gainsborough portraits than before I read it Gibbon lurks on the fringes Burke was glorious Fanny Burney and Elizabeth Montagu receive nothing but praise from all of these presumably misogynistic men Richardson was as you d பொன்னியின் செல்வன் - புது வெள்ளம் expect kind of a dick Smollett kind of a dick in a way I find farntertaining Fielding barely gets a look it For all that I admit to skimming much of the final uarter which was about Johnson alone than about the Age of Johnson The anecdotes get tiresome the letters The Return of the Carter Boys: The Carter Boys 2 ever duller and Boswellffaces himself and So if you re considering reading this do not do it the way I did THIS IS THE WINTER OF BOSWELL I WILL READ IT OVER WINTER BREAK Because unless you re superhuman you won t I finished it over Spring break instead and A Meditation on Murder even that was a bad idea Instead keep the book next to your bed and dip into itach night living with Bos and Sam and co for a year And absolutely read this the Womersley dited Penguin dition It s a weightlifting session yes but it s also a mini dictionary of the Travis eighteenth century unto itself The biographical index alone is a lifetime s scholarly work Now if only Womersley would put out an abridgeddition that I could carry on a bus I recently included a bucket book in my line up of books I am reading These are books I really ought to have read by this time in my life but which alas I have not This book The Life of Samuel Johnson was the first in this roster that I have completed Having done so it continues to strike me as a really good ideaBoswell mentions near the nd of the book that those who took the time to read may be considered as well acuainted with him I think this is uite true and gaining the acuaintance was genuinely rewarding It was also a pleasure to run across so many of Johnson s bon mots in their original setting Despite being such a massive book or perhaps because of it this was a truly rewarding read I put this down around page 600 because I didn t think I had the time or attention to devote to all 1200 pages That said it s not arduous reading Exceedingly pleasant in fact Richard Howard in a poem somewhere referred to the glossy carapace of 18th century diction Boswell on his own and aided by copious xtracts from Johnson and others forms a treasure chest of AI Weiwei: Beijing Photographs, 1993-2003 elegantly turned utterance. Ay as the best biographyver written and by Carlyle as a book 'beyond any other product of the The Bubble Economy: Is Sustainable Growth Possible? eighteenth century' The Life of Samuel Johnson today continues tonjoy its status as a classic of the languageThis shortened version is based on the 1799 dition the last in which the author had a hand. .
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This is a book which is not about a thing but is the thing itself I think there s a complicated German philosophical term for that In the history books they will tell you Samuel Johnson is dead these 200 years but I say No Sir He s alive here right here He s walking and talking and wringing the necks of fools right hereIn this book s oceanic vastness of pages Boswell the drunk the fool the butt of japes the ignoble toady creates the reality tv of 18th century London There are verbatim conversations many of them whole veningsworths of them If Bozzy had had a camcorder he d have done that but he didn t so he invented his own version of shorthand and made Collision Course: Endless Growth on a Finite Planet excusesvery half an hour or so during the boisterous hours of high powered debate with SJ his pals and nipped off to the lavatory where he scribbled his hieroglyphs on his cuff or on a napkin Like any reality tv show you get sucked into that world so that 10 PRINT CHR$(205.5+RND(1)); : GOTO 10 (Software Studies) even the boring bits are interesting It helps that the language is so thrillingly grandilouent and the people so piuant so flavoursomeOh yesven thought this biography is as long as Lord of the Rings there are various bits that Bozzy didn t dare include but thats okay he wrote them all down in his journals which 150 years later were all published for our delectation so you can get hold of Design Research: Methods and Perspectives everything Such as the uestion of Samuel Johnson s sex life Excerpt from Boswell s journal published as The Applause of the Jury LONDON 20th April 1783LOWE I do not believe his marriage was consummatedBOSWELL Do you know ma am that there really was a connexion between him and his wife You understand meMRS DESMOULINS Yes yes sir Nay Garrick knew it was consummated for he peeped through the keyhole and behaved like a rascal for he made the Doctor ridiculous all over the country by describing him running around the bed after she had lain down and crying I m coming my Tetsie I m coming my Tetsie In Life of Johnson this is rendered into acceptable language In particular the young rogues used to listen at the door of his bed chamber and peep through the keyhole that they might turn into ridicule his tumultuous and awkward fondness for Mrs Johnson whom he used to name by the familiar appellation TetsieWhen Johnson was alive he was something of a one man industry all by himself Dictionary Shakespeare Rasselas Idler Rambler Lives of Poets and after he was dead it seemsvery other person in literary London wrote a book about him There were two biographies before Boswell s and his publishers were kind of anxious Come on Bozzy you re being scooped here let s get your book out and cash in while people still aren t sick of the name of the great Doctor But Boswell was supremely confident in what
He D Got Which Wasd got which was book He waited seven years to publish this Life and when he did veryone knew what it was a masterpiece of world literature But this may be a little distressing but when you have finished Boswell s 1350 pages you will probably then need to read an actual biography of Samuel Johnson which remarkably this book really isn t Because it s so Boz centric because Boswell knew what he had the goods and it made him a lazy arse who couldn t be bothered to find stuff out if he had to work for it Because what had happened was that Boswell was a major SJ fan and wangled a meeting with SJ when he was 22 and SJ was 54 He got SJ to like him he was a real groupie but he lived in Scotland So from age 54 until SJ died ie another 20 years Bozzy would use his two weeks of holidays to visit London and be with SJ And those are the days and venings we get in minute detail in this book The first 54 years are written about with verve but with an obvious desire to crack on to the bit where Boswell himself Why Photography Matters enters the story Boswell finds himself very interesting tooYou could really go mental if you want with all this stuff You could read this vast thing then you could read all of Boswell s journals about twelve volumes then you could read Johnson s account of A Journey to the Western isles of Scotland then Boswell s version of the same trip called Journal of a Tour of the Hebrides Then as a corrective to all that you could read Young Samuel Johnson by James Clifford which is brilliant and wi. Poet lexicographer critic moralist and Great Cham Dr Johnson had in his friend Boswell the ideal biographerNotoriously and self confessedly intemperate Boswell shared with Johnson a huge appetite for life and threwual Doreen Valiente Witch energy into recording itsvery aspect in minute but telling detail This irrep. Nd up with John Wain s magnificent actual biography of SJYou could also throw in Mrs Thrale s memoir too which contains lots of gems such asON SCOTLAND A friend of that nation at his return from the Hebrides asked him what he thought of his country That is a very vile country to be sure Sir Well Sir replies the other somewhat mortified God made it Certainly he did answers Mr Johnson but we must always remember that he made it for Scotchmen ON THE POOR AN ACUAINTANCE OF DR JOHNSON What signifies giving halfpence to common beggars They only lay it out in gin or tobacco Note this uestion is still brilliantly contemporary people say it Duty Free Murder every time they pass a modern day beggarxcept gin or tobacco has become Diamond White and drugs I myself have said this DR JOHNSON And why should they be denied such sweeteners of Asperger - Leben in zwei Welten : Betroffene berichten: das hilft mir in Beruf, Partnerschaft Alltag existence It is surely very savage to refuse themvery possible avenue to pleasure reckoned too coarse for our own Hsi K'Ang and His Poetical Essay on the Lute existence Life is a pill which none of us can bear to swallow without gilding yet for the poor we delight in stripping it still barer You could go on and indeed I would urge that you do because all disclaimers aside I think you ll have a great time The Life of Samuel Johnson is many things charming witty vivacious absorbingdifying beautiful part philosophy and part history with some politics and religion on the side It is ironic then that one of the few things it most definitely is not is a biography James Boswell was not interested in creating a record of Johnson s life but a portrait of his personality As a result Boswell rapidly plowed through the time of Johnson s life that the two weren t acuainted the first fifty years and dedicated the bulk of the book to the time that the two were friends the last twenty years of Johnson s life The book is less a narrative than a collection of uotes and anecdotes In fact a much accurate title of this book would be The Idle Talk of Samuel Johnson If a book of this format had been written by almost any other person in the history of the world I m sure it would be unreadable But Boswell has such a fine knack for suggestive details for memorable uotes for personality uirks in short for all the subtle and charming details of daily life that the book is not only readable but compulsively readable Boswell s Life is a testament to the fact that the idle talk of a drawing room can be just as momentous as the Venous Catheters ebb and flow of human history or the thoughts of the greatest philosophers It is a celebration of thepic in the veryday the magnificent in the mundane Not to say that Johnson is ither veryday or mundane uite the opposite he is as great a character as any in literature Nay so Because this book was so obviously the product of a fan boy mentality I have no idea what Johnson the man was actually like But Boswell s characterization of him couldn t be surpassed or ven Strange Visitors: Documents in Indigenous-Settler Relations in Canada from 1876 eualed by the most skillful of novelists Accurate or not it is damned fine writingWhat really gives fire to this otherwise mundane collection of anecdotes is Boswell s near insane hero worship Every mild opinionvery offhand uip Witched At Birth (A Paris, Texas Romance, every casual remark uttered by Johnson is treated by Boswell as gospel His reverence for the man is boundless and his idolatry comes through invery sentence It s ndearing at first almost overpowering by the nd Boswell makes the man into a myth and the myth into a man Nonetheless it is at times hard to see what Boswell sees in Johnson For Smalltalk: Die Kunst des stilvollen Mitredens every piece of wisdom or wit that Johnson produces there are three pieces of folly He hated the Scotch the French the Americans basicallyveryone who wasn t both an Englishman and a Tory all for no reason whatsoever No good reason anyway He was socially religiously and politically conservative He was rude overbearing and often closed minded He would argue a point that Burkes Christmas Surprise even he didn tndorse merely
to command a conversation And Boswell doesn t appear very likable ithercommand a conversation And Boswell doesn t appear very likable ither was servile toadyish and invasive However much he may have reverenced Johnson Boswell did not respect the man s privacy or confidence In fact it sometimes felt like Boswell s ntire purpose of hanging around Johnson was to advance his own literary career and that his idealization of Johnson was just. Ressible Scotsman was 'always studying human nature and making xperiments' and the marvelously vivacious Journals he wrote daily furnished him with first rate material when he came to write his biographyThe result is a masterpiece that brims over with wit anecdote and originality Hailed by Macaul. ,