Tag Archives: Dr. Samuel Johnson

play it again sam

From Samuel Johnson. What a great writer.From The Vanity of Human Wishes, The Tenth Satire of Juvenal, Imitated. The first section: Let observation with extensive view, Survey mankind, from China to Peru; Remark each anxious toil, each eager strife, And … Continue reading

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tugs of war

To recoil from the tired shape. Form and anti-form collide, tugging from opposite sides at the drama of naturalistic illusion. The urge to engage in the shattering of shape. And never shall the twain be twined again. Excuse us for … Continue reading

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adonis be damned

The age-old pursuit of perfect health… Is health really necessary? Of all the peculiarities inherent in the individual¬† one of the oddest has to be the quest by the physically fit for physical fitness. It is easy enough to understand … Continue reading

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don quixote: heroism and disillusion

…For as the book progresses, so does the world of make believe. The barber and the curate, who set out to cure Don Quixote’s follies, end by becoming participants in it, actors in his imaginary history. Sancho Panza starts talking … Continue reading

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war against english the language: unstitching for naught

Is verbal usage simply a matter of social usage, an aspect of etiquette? … The war against the English language is thus a many pronged offensive, waged amid jungles of jargon, over oceans of Officialese, prairies of pedantry, mountains of … Continue reading

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ustinov: diversity in identity

At one time in the late 1950’s, early 1960’s it became virtually impossible to turn on television without finding Peter Ustinov. He might appear as a traffic policeman- first British, then French, then Austrian. He might do his own version … Continue reading

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high on the hog: boastful splendiferous types

…Of what there is no doubt is that this life was wasteful, extravagant, ostentatious- an appalling contrast, as Dr. Samuel Johnson noted, to the human wretchedness of rural or urban slums; yet it was saved both by its humanity and … Continue reading

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rubbing shoulders with the celestial emperor

The noble houses of eighteenth century England. Eventually the life blood of civilization began to flow through the veins of barbarized Europe. Gradually, a tide of wealth swept over the old noble warrior society. By 1750 the Western world had … Continue reading

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like the highlands?

“Who can like the Highlands?” answered Dr. Johnson.And so the famous trip through the Scottish Highlands drew to a close, to be immortalized in James Boswell’s journal. It was a snapshot in time, of the wild ways of the Hebrides … Continue reading

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highlands: linen in the seraglio

James Boswell and Dr. Samuel Johnson’s tour to the Scottish Highlands in 1773…. Boswell, too, was more concerned with the study of human character. Samuel Johnson was a more fascinating subject than any cliff or stream or ruined castle- the … Continue reading

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