Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Dr. Johnson at his best ...

... The University Bookman: A New ‘Rasselas’. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Rasselas appeared at almost the same time as Candide, and for that reason, and because they are superficially alike in form and message, they have often been compared. Yet, as Boswell said, “though the proposition illustrated by both these works was the same, namely, that in our present state there is more evil than good, the intention of the writers was very different.” They indeed differ markedly in the effect they have upon the reader. “No good man is the better for having read Candide,” wrote Hilaire Belloc, “but every man is the better for having read Rasselas.”

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