Monday, November 09, 2009

Bloom on Johnson (on Milton)

Mussy points us to this note on Dr. Johnson from Harold Bloom. It begins:
It has been three centuries since Dr. Johnson was born, on Sept. 7, 1709. He died on Dec. 13, 1784, still struggling for the mixed blessing of more life. His Falstaffian vitalism is always my first thought when I reread, teach again or continue brooding upon the canonical critic of Western literature.

Johnson's "Life of Milton" is here.

Bloom emphasizes the theatricality of Johnson:
Johnson’s personality was worthy of Shakespearean representation: sometimes I rub my eyes to dispel the illusion that Shakespeare wrote, not Johnson’s work, but the man himself into existence.

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