Recently read….

Leonardo Sciascia, De Raad van Egypte (1963) — Dutch translation of Il Consiglio d’Egitto, buy it here: Sciascia continues to amaze me. This is a short historical novel, based on facts, set in Sicily (of course) at the end of the 18th century. A ‘fake translation’ of an Arabic manuscript about the history of Sicily disturbs the balance of power.

James Boswell, Life of Johnson (well, abridged version, until halfway and the rest via the index). Picked up a few old Penguin pockets, apart from this one also Selected Writings of Samuel Johnson. Why would I be interested in Samuel Johnson? Because he operated, euhm.. wrote at a moment when the press was changing, growing, becoming popular; when a General Reading Publick emerged. And because he was a voracious reader.

In Boswell’s Life Johnson comes across as, well, exactly the journalist type — spending to much time in the Coffee-House, talking too much, with controversial opinions. A quite unsympathetic conservative knowitall. But that’s Boswell’s fault as well, I understand — he met Johnson very late in his life, after Johnson did all the hard writing work — sort of defining modern journalism, modern criticism, etc.

This seems to be a good introduction to Samuel Johnson:

Texts here:

en,free publicity,reading matter | August 9, 2006 | 21:29 | Comments Off on Recently read…. |


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