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September 18, 2007

The Lion in the Temple

Samuel Johnson is one of the household gods around here -- others in the pantheon including Diderot and Hazlitt, of course -- so it's a pleasure to point out Jerome's "In Retrospect" essay at Critical Mass. I haven't read Bate's biography, but it sounds as if doing so ought to be a priority.

We votaries of Johnson praying to him for strength as we stumble down Grub Street often feel a kind of guilt for blogging. It is an activity that violates the First Commandment -- which I won't spell out, because if you know it, you know it, and you feel it in your bones.

In other words, writing about Samuel Johnson for Critical Mass -- writing anything for Critical Mass -- would not please the good Doctor. But no doubt he would read Critical Mass pretty regularly, even so. I like to imagine him looking down on its contributors with more compassion than disapproval.

Posted by smclemee at September 18, 2007 8:42 AM