Collects a large sampling of Samuel Johnson's creativity, including journalism, dictionary of the English language, literary criticism, biographies of poets, letters, and other writings.
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Readers should find much pleasure and insight in this collection. -- Anthony Pucci Library Journal 20090901 We see in [Johnson's] essays the tiny brushwork of brilliant self-portraiture; we hear the rhythm of moral seriousness, the sound of contemplation as it engages with the questions of how to live and how to manage in the face of death. But most of all we feel the reach of an author--a writer attempting to reach past self-doubt, poverty, cant, and orthodoxy, in order to assert the power of individual authorship and free thinking in the face of more nebulous authorities. Samuel Johnson may have failed often enough to be personable, but he nevertheless freed subjectivity...and brought both dignity and self-sufficiency to the writing game, allowing authors to be who they chose to be, unshackled from patronage and the requirement to please great men. We see it in his essays and we see it again in his Lives of the Poets: a writer's writer, beckoning individual creative power out of the mire of dependency, making the work answerable only to high standards of excellence stringently applied. -- Andrew O'Hagan New York Review of Books 20091008About the Author:
Peter Martin has taught English literature on both sides of the Atlantic and is the author of A Life of James Boswell.
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