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by W. J. Bate,Albrecht B. Strauss,Samuel Johnson

Download The Works of Samuel Johnson, Vols 3-5: The Rambler (The Yale Edition of the Works of Samuel Johnson) fb2, epub

ISBN: 0300011571
Author: W. J. Bate,Albrecht B. Strauss,Samuel Johnson
Language: English
Publisher: Yale University Press; annotated edition edition (September 10, 1969)
Pages: 1177
Category: History & Criticism
Subcategory: Literature
Rating: 4.2
Votes: 489
Size Fb2: 1332 kb
Size ePub: 1107 kb
Size Djvu: 1451 kb
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My other works, Samuel Johnson reputed to have said, are wine and water; but my Rambler is pure wine.

My other works, Samuel Johnson reputed to have said, are wine and water; but my Rambler is pure wine. Posterity has come to accept this verdict; yet surprisingly enough. The Bate anthology regretfully neglects the moral essays for those more aesthetic and literary in nature, which is tragic because Johnson is a religious moralist as much as he is a literary critic, and even the critical side cannot be understood without an appreciation of Johnson's religious and moral convictions and sensibilities.

My other works, Samuel Johnson reputed to have said, are wine and wa. .Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Start by marking The Rambler (Works of Samuel Johnson, Vols 3-5) as Want to Read: Want to Read savin. ant to Read.

Vol. 15 has bibliographical references and index. V. 1. Diaries, prayers, and annals. 2. The idler and The adventurer. 7-8. Johnson on Shakespeare. 9. A journey to the western islands of SCotland. 10. Political writings. 15. A voyage to Abyssinia.

My other works," Samuel Johnson reputed to have said, "are wine and water; but my Rambler is.

My other works," Samuel Johnson reputed to have said, "are wine and water; but my Rambler is pure wine.

Other Works Letters of Samuel Johnson - Archive. More Johnson at Archive.

Published September 10, 1969 by Yale University Press.

3. Description this book "My other works," Samuel Johnson reputed to have said, "are wine and water; but my Rambler is pure wine.

"My other works," Samuel Johnson reputed to have said, "are wine and water; but my Rambler is pure wine." Posterity has come to accept this verdict; yet surprisingly enough, until not the most widely used edition of the Rambler has been wholly unauthoritative one of 1825. In furnishing an accurate, carefully annotated text of the 208 numbers of the Rambler, periodical essays which appeared twice a week between March 20, 1750 and March 14, 1752, the present edition this meets a long-felt need. A perceptive Introduction by W. J. Bate suggestively probes the moral vision that pervades most of the essays; and since the Rambler is by far the most heavily revised of Johnson's writings, the many thousands of variant readings provide a rare and fascinating glimpse of Johnson at the task of polishing his style. Here, then, for the first time meticulously edited, is the quintessential Samuel Johnson.Mr. Bate is Lowell Professor of the Humanities at Harvard University and editor of Selected Essays from the "Rambler," "Adventurer," and "Idler" (1968). Mr. Strauss is associate professor of English at the University of North Carolina. This selection of the cream of the writing from Volumes II-V of the Yale Edition of the Works of Samuel Johnson fills the largest remaining gap in easily available eighteenth-century texts for the student and general reader.  The edition provides in popular form the amplest selection available of Johnson’s essays, ranging from his great moral pieces to the valuable essays on literary criticism.  The text is that of the authoritative Yale Edition and includes full annotation.  An Introduction by W.J. Bate provides a concise summary of the publication history of the essays and probes in detail the moral vision that pervades most of them. 

Comments:

Gosar
Samuel Johnson is arguably the greatest prose stylist the English language has produced, and contained within the two hundred or so Rambler essays written by Johnson (a few of the essays were written by others by invitation from Johnson) are perhaps Johnson's greatest work. Not every essay is a classic, but many of them are and bear reading and rereading.

Samuel Johnson was a brilliant but undisciplined scholar. Although he was prolific as a writer, this was due more to how effortless it was for him rather than to a well-regimented schedule. One of the reasons he undertook the projects of writing these essays--which were published every few days in pamphlet form--was to force him to concentrate on writing down his ideas on morals, art, literature, or whatever struck him at the time. Even so, he was frequently employed in writing even at the last minute. We are told that some of the essays were still in the process of being written even as they were being set at the printer; a printer's devil would sprint from Johnson's rooms to the press with each page. What is astonishing is how perfect the essays are in their raw form. Johnson surely was the greatest first-draft writer in the history of the language. All of his contemporaries attest to the fact that he spoke precisely as he wrote.

Even if Johnson had been given the opportunity to edit and improve his writing, what would that have accomplished? How can one improve on a passage like this?

"A frequent and attentive prospect of that moment, which must put a period to all our schemes, and deprive us of all our acquisitions, is, indeed, of the utmost efficacy to the just and rational regulation of our lives; nor would ever any thing wicked, or often any thing absurd, be undertaken or prosecuted by him who should begin every day with a serious reflection, that he is born to die." (Rambler 17)

There is unfortunately no good one-volume edition of the Rambler essays. The Bate anthology regretfully neglects the moral essays for those more aesthetic and literary in nature, which is tragic because Johnson is a religious moralist as much as he is a literary critic, and even the critical side cannot be understood without an appreciation of Johnson's religious and moral convictions and sensibilities. As a side note, I could add that this is typical of Bate, and is especially in evidence in his otherwise marvelous biography of Johnson, where he tends to treat Johnson's very powerful religious beliefs as an odd sort of psychological aberration.

It is impossible to recommend a purchase this expensive for the casual reader, but as owner of the three-volume set, I can attest that any lover of Johnson will find him or herself going to these volumes and especially particular essays, again and again and again.
Mori
Samuel Johnson wrote in many genres, and the essay is one for which he is well-known. Of the three series of his essays, the Rambler is usaully hailed as being his best. This is the only complete edition in print.
Johnson was a great critic, a moralist, and a sharp observer of human behavior. The Rambler essays cover all three aspects of his opinions.
In literary criticism, we have discussions of pastoral poetry, of Milton's blank verse (long before his biography of Milton in "The Lives of the Poets"), and a stunning essay on the superiority of biography as a literary form.
We have his moralist perspective, and his human observations, combined in essays on the foolishness of telling secrets, procrastination, self-consciousness, anger, regret, perseverance, etc.
Admittedly, Johnson's syntax can be difficult, and occasionally he will send you to your dictionary. But your efforts will be rewarded, because Johnson's views are written from the perspective of someone who is all too familiar with his own flaws, and knows the difference between the ideals he proposes and our/his own performance in attempting to achieve those goals.
Steelcaster
Samuel Johnson's essays contain more wisdom per square inch than any other writer I've encountered. Like any period, the eighteenth century had its flaws, but Johnson's prose rises above all of them. His respect for common sense and his deep faith keep him safe from the delusions of perfectability that infected many of his contemporaries.

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