Paul K. Alkon (essay date 1969)
SOURCE: "Boswell's Control of Aesthetic Distance," University of Toronto Quarterly, Vol. XXXVIII, No. 2, January, 1969, pp. 174-91.
[In the following essay, Alkon discusses devices Boswell uses in the Life of Johnson in order to control the aesthetic distance between author and subject and author and reader.]
Proper control of aesthetic distance was so highly regarded by Johnson that he was sometimes inclined to undervalue biography. Thus in the Idler, No. 84, he argues that autobiography is more useful because "he that recounts the life of another, commonly dwells most upon conspicuous events, lessens the familiarity of his...
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