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Om författaren

Leo Damrosch is the Ernest Bernbaum Professor of Literature Emeritus at Harvard University. His previous works include the National Book Critics Circle Award winner Jonathan Swift: His Life and His World, and Eternity's Sunrise: The Imaginative World of William Blake.

Inkluderar namnen: Leo Damrosch, Leopold Damrosch

Verk av Leo Damrosch

Associerade verk

Gulliver's Travels and Other Writings (1950) — Inledning, vissa utgåvor433 exemplar
Rape of the Lock and Other Major Writings (2011) — Inledning, vissa utgåvor67 exemplar


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This is an excellent biography, very informative and readable and I definitely walked away with a much richer understanding of Rousseau's philosophy than I had going into the book and it also made me want to reread The Social Contract. The only drawback was that I found Rousseau more and more annoying as a person the more I learned about him.
lschiff | 4 andra recensioner | Sep 24, 2023 |
A very fine multiple biography of the members (plus friends and relatives) of the Club that is today called the London Literary Society. The story runs until the time of the death of James Boswell. Other major participants include Samuel Johnson, David Garrick, Edmund Burke, Oliver Goldsmith, Edward Gibbon, Adam Smith, Elizabeth Montagu, and Fanny Burney. The book is an entertaining and interesting look at the history of many of the movers and shakers of Britain in the 18th century.

Most entertaining, as expected, are many of Johnson’s criticisms; he was the man who coined the phrase Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel. Once during a violin recital, Johnson became visibly bored. A friend, to pique Johnson’s interest, told him how difficult the piece was to perform. Johnson replied, Difficult do you call it, Sir? I wish it were impossible.… (mer)
markm2315 | 5 andra recensioner | Jul 1, 2023 |
This chatty, even gossipy, survey of the Johnson/Boswell circle is entertaining enough, but if you've read any books on either figure you won't find all that much new here. The usual published primary sources are tastily dipped into, and the standard secondary sources are well represented in the footnotes.
sjnorquist | 5 andra recensioner | Mar 31, 2023 |
This book and I have completed a no-fault divorce. I was not the reader the book thought I was, and it was not the book I thought it was, and that's fine. We're both okay with it.

I thought I was getting more about the 'genius,' and this book really wanted to give me more about the 'restless.' Damrosch writes perfect non-fiction prose, clear and engaging. He paints (as they say) Rousseau's times and his personality, the houses he lived in and women he loved (if that's the right word), he pokes a bit of fun, but is generally sympathetic. I did not know, before reading this, that JJR just *was* a picaro, which makes me rethink a lot of 18th century novels. Maybe all the wanderings aren't plot devices--maybe that really was how a large number of people experienced their lives?

The book did not, however, deal with Rousseau's ideas in any depth at all. What I wanted to read about was the great contradiction in Rousseau's thought: that society ought to be a contract between a bunch of people who are unsocialized and, therefore, incapable of making contracts. This is one of the great philosophical conundrums of modernity, but this book... well, it doesn't even bring it up.

I thought we'd make it work, but this break up is probably for the best. You're pretty, "Restless Genius," but you don't really have the personality I thought you did.
… (mer)
stillatim | 4 andra recensioner | Oct 23, 2020 |



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