Sunday, September 27, 2009
Boswell's Presumptuous Task, The Making of The Life of Dr. Johnson, by Adam Sisman, Farrar, Scraus, and Giroux, New York, 2000. This just isn't the kind of book that grabbed my attention. I suppose if I had read some of Dr. Johnson's works first rather than just his quotes I would have been more interested. One thing that was very clear, though, was that you have to be careful if you have any literary minded friends, if you are famous. Your most intimate conversations may be recorded for all the world to read. This is the reason Boswell became a pariah. Although his biography of Johnson was one of the great works of English literature, his lack of character in revealing trusted confidences was looked upon as an act of bad faith.
Posted by Frederick Widdowson