Miss Woodhouse's Musings

…about life, the universe, and everything. Don't panic!

Rambling On

on 13 December 2009

I was reading excerpts of Samuel Johnson’s Rambler tonight for school, so I thought I’d pass on some thought-provoking quotes. I’ve totally undervalued Johnson’s writing out of ignorance- this must change! He’s really an interesting person.

On Fiction:

It is justly considered as the greatest excellency of art, to imitate nature; but it is necessary to distinguish those parts of nature, which are most proper for imitation; greater care is still required in representing life…” In other words, we can’t just imitate something because it is there. We should be careful to evaluate what we are copying.

Vice, for vice is necessary to be shown, should always disgust; nor should the graces of gaiety, or the dignity of courage, be so united with it, as to reconcile it to the mind.” This is really good. Fiction is good way to teach the evils of vices, as long as we don’t make it look so appealing in the process that the lines between good and evil are blurred.

Hollywood, by the way, apparently doesn’t read Johnson either.

Moving on….

On Spring:

We solace ourselves with some new prospect, and press forward again with equal eagerness.” Oh, I really love this quote! What a wonderful way to think about spring, as a fresh start for both the world and for ourselves.

It may be laid down as a position that will seldom deceive, that when a man cannot bear his own company there is something wrong.” This is the 18th century version of an insult upon mankind. What a great comment! Basically, if you can’t just sit back and enjoy everything that’s happening around you, then something is amazingly awry in your life.

So there you have it!


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