17 Comments
Nov 9, 2023Liked by Henry Oliver, M. E. Rothwell

“The art of uniting pleasure with truth”. Wow. As a poet, I am wowed. I’ll have to read the linked reading posthaste, because yes, I love so much when people are poetic, whether in prose or in verse. And what is poetry, but to explore the truth but to look at it askance just enough that truths can be explored, as painful as they may be.

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He’s simply the best poetry critic and his poetry is worth imbibing too.

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Johnson's own poetry (especially The Vanity of Human Wishes) is well worth reading.

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Nov 9, 2023Liked by Henry Oliver, M. E. Rothwell

Wonderful essay! I skipped over to The Common Reader and devoured the post about Malcolm Gladwell's "Tipping Point." Methinks this admiration of Johnson's (and Boswell's) literary talents is just a *bit* of (well placed) projection. Thanks, Mikey, for giving this platform to Henry Oliver. I'm smitten.

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Told you he was good!

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So glad you have been enjoying my writing!

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Nov 9, 2023Liked by Henry Oliver, M. E. Rothwell

Excellent post. It makes me want to read both Johnson and Boswell. I have only touched the surface of both of them.

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Do! Well worth your time.

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Nov 11, 2023Liked by Henry Oliver, M. E. Rothwell

Thank you for an excellent post, Henry!

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Glad you enjoyed it!

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Nov 15, 2023Liked by Henry Oliver, M. E. Rothwell

This was a great find, thank you kindly for your post. I write a lot of poetry and try to soak up as much as I can from the words of the wise.

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Nov 10, 2023Liked by Henry Oliver, M. E. Rothwell

Fascinating! This is the third time Johnson has come across my path recently. It's clear the universe is shaming me for having not read him.

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Nov 10, 2023Liked by Henry Oliver, M. E. Rothwell

The work of a master of rhetoric is truly a sight to behold! Wonderful tribute to Samuel Johnson.

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More lines added to my TO READ and STUDY List (2rasl) related to “to wrestle with” as in, to wrestle with these new ideas will take a lot of energy! I am another who has seen Johnson mentioned as a model and paragon, but I have never actually laid eyes directly on any of his works! Based on the quoted observation about women, another deficiency to remedy.

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His essays are nice and short, his preface to Shakespeare is perfect, and you can read Rasselas in an evening. All goods ways to get started!

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Thanks for the recommendations!

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Also the poems The Vanity of Human Wishes and London.

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