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The Rambler

PDF I have other selections from The Rambler on my shelves, and the complete set of essays on my iPad/Kindle, but this small hardback volume (in the Everyman's Library series) is the most convenient Rambler I have when I want to read a few of these essays.This time I read almost all of the selections - I did skip a few, and expect that only the most dedicated Johnsonians will want to read #152, "Criticism on Epistolary Writings," to choose an example of one of the essays I passed on.

I certainly enjoyed some of these essays more than others, but the best of them transcend Johnson's time and language and remain relevant today, since human nature is much as it always has been.Johnson was a moralist, among other things, and his moralizing is perhaps the least attractive of his qualities.But he he was a compassionate moralist, and his views on capital punishment and prostitution, among other topics, were quite enlightened for the time.The most entertaining and moving of these essays are those which are written in character, in the form of letters to the editor of The Rambler.

Johnson's language is dense, and often difficult for 21st-century readers.Every day, when I picked up the book, there was a short period of adjustment until I was used to the language again.But most contemporary readers have a similar adjustment process when reading Shakespeare; after a few paragraphs, you're back in that world.

These essays were written for a biweekly periodical, and as Johnson said in the last essay, "I have never been much of a favourite of the public."But when these essay were collected in book form, they made Johnson's reputation as much as any of his accomplishments until his dictionary was published a couple of years later.There is much here that has not held up well, but also much to enjoy.

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eBook formatHardcover, (torrent)En
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PublisherJ.M.Dent & Sons Ltd
File size4.9 Mb
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Pages count304
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