Titel: Designing the Life of Johnson
Autor/en: Bruce Redford
OXFORD UNIV PR
Juni 2002 - gebunden - 198 Seiten
What makes a biographical masterpiece? By decoding the manuscript of Boswell's Life of Johnson, this innovative study reveals the methods and the models that shaped his monumental portrait. The result is a more subtle, more vital assessment of Boswell the designer--and an enhanced awareness of biography's power to make life into art.
Cue Titles and Textual Note; Introduction; 1. Imprinting Johnson; 2. Representing Johnson; 3. Dramatizing Johnson; 4. Transmitting Johnson; 5. Taming Johnson; Select Bibliography; Index
Editor of the OUP/Princeton UP 5-volume edition of the Letters of Samuel Johnson, 1992-4; now editor of the Yale UP/Edinburgh UP edition of Boswell's Life of Johnson: An Edition of the Original Manuscript (vol. 2)
Redford's study will enable scholars and critics to see this complex great work in its subtle particularities as never before... This is a delicate, precise, yet bold and daring book. Studies in English Literature; Designing the Life of Johnson" set outs to be quietly revolutionary in demonstrating that the biographer is an 'artist', not merely a 'craftsman', and that the 'literary form in factual narrative' deployed by Boswell entitles him to be regarded as a 'bold, imaginative, and scrupulous artist'. It certainly succeeds in that aim, and in the process becomes a work of critical art in its own right, raising bibliographical scholarship to new heights of formal elegance and textual insight. Essays in Criticism; Bruce Redford's Lyell Lectures are a splendid work, now setting Boswell's Life of Johnson on the very highest grounds of artistic biography. Royal Stuart Review; Designing the Life of Johnson is an impressive achievement. The availability of the entire working manuscript, and the author's skill in using this manuscript to describe Boswell's complex procedures, make the book the most useful overall study of the Life yet available. Biography; ... an invaluable and comprehensive overview of Boswell's biographical procedures and practices. Biography; A winning combination of scholarly strength and subtlety of insight which will make these gracefully written lectures a fitting companion to Redford's edition of the manuscript, and also the inescapable point of departure for anyone who wishes to understand how it was that Boswell designed The Life of Johnson. Review of English Studies;; Elegant and subtle study ... The completeness of the scholarly equipment which Redford brings to his task is particularly impressive. Notwithstanding the daunting complexity of the manuscripts on which the study is based, the reader never feels less than completely secure as Redford guides us through their luxuriant detail, and makes that detail speak. Review of English Studies; Redford is always in absolute control of his material: his readings and interpretations are perceptive and incisive, never strained or forced. The result is a wholly persuasive account of the "textual labyrinth" out of which Boswell created his masterpiece. H. R. Woudhuysen, Times Literary Supplement; Nobody interested in the supposed contests between ... Boswell's Johnson and Johnson's Johnson, or more generally between biography as history and as poetry, will wish to ignore Bruce Redford's elegant and powerful book. H. R. Woudhuysen, Times Literary Supplement