Welcome to the Johnson Society of Australia
Seminar formula an outstanding success Print E-mail
Written by Bryan Reid   
Monday, 13 September 2010 20:24

The new formula for the annual seminar program is here to stay, following an enthusiastic reception from a large attendance  at the 2010 seminar held at the English Speaking Union on July 24.

The program started later in the morning, but offered a more varied menu, with only three full-length presentations (40-50 minutes), punctuated by five “stub” papers or readings of 10  to 15 minutes each.

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JSA Papers available at the AGM Print E-mail
Written by Bryan Reid   
Monday, 13 September 2010 20:22

JSA Papers Volume 12 will be available at the Annual General Meeting on Saturday 2 October 2010, free of charge to all Society members.

This year’s edition will be in the same format as last year’s – book size, easy to fit on home bookshelves.

As usual, the papers cover a wide range of subjects:

  • Ann Blake’s colourful 2008 Fleeman Lecture on Johnson, Sheridan and the London theatre: “An Ornament of the Metropolis”
  • Nick Hudson’s witty dissection of Johnson’s approach to grammar, “Johnson and the Grammarians”
  • Barrie Sheppard’s interesting analysis of imagery in creative writing, “Johnson and Metaphor”
  • Daniel Vuillermin’s informative discussion on how Boswell, Reynolds and the 19th Century genre Painters portrayed Johnson.

Don’t miss out on your copy!

 
A Johnsonian nightmare Print E-mail
Written by Bronwen Hickman   
Monday, 13 September 2010 20:20

At the Johnson seminar on July 24, I read people a picture of Johnson through the eyes of Fanny Burney. She noted his likes and dislikes; how he despised the Whigs and their policies, how loyal he was to Oxford University and how derisive of Cambridge men; his poor opinion of the Scots, and so on. So you can imagine how much I enjoyed the anecdote I found in Simon Winchester’s book The Meaning of Everything which I have just finished reading.

The book tells the story of the publication of the huge Oxford English Dictionary, and the years of  labour by James Murray and his team to bring it into existence.  A skilled amateur philologist, Murray was the son of a linen draper, a lowland Scot and a Calvinist.  He claimed to have had a dream that illustrated Samuel Johnson’s likely reaction to Murray's appointment in 1879 as the editor of the Dictionary.

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Review: Literary allusions in Johnson’s Journey Print E-mail
Written by John Wiltshire   
Monday, 13 September 2010 20:21

Agustin Coletes Blanco, Literary Allusion in Johnson’s Journey to the Western Islands of Scotland. Glasgow: The Grimshaw Press, ISBN 184530 060 2

Professor Coletes Blanco teaches at the University of Oviedo in Spain, and has previously published a Spanish translation of Johnson’s Journey.  In this intriguing little publication he has traced more than thirty places in the book where Johnson  alludes, sometimes overtly, sometimes more indirectly, to other literary texts.

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THE WESTERN IDLER - Treasures from Melbourne Print E-mail
Written by The Western Idler   
Monday, 13 September 2010 20:18

It was a great pleasure to see so many of you at the Annual Seminar in July.  I thought that the new format worked very well.  Many new faces were to be seen, including some younger people.  After such a momentous year, as was the 300th anniversary in 2009, I believe that we all need to make an extra effort to ensure that the enthusiasm generated over that 12 months is continued into the future.  Hopefully, by the time the next seminar rolls around, Elizabeth and I will be living in Victoria.  I hope to take a much more active part in the Society when we complete our move.

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