Johnson's later life, from 1763, is among the best documented of all literary lives. James Boswell gave himself the enormous task, after Johnson's death in 1784, of producing what is now held to be a model of biography; rich in detail and anecdote, a complete picture of the man and his times, traced over a period of more than twenty years. Boswell's Life of Johnson, published in 1791, carries on Johnson's own contribution to the growing art of biography, and consolidates Johnson's position as a major literary figure, who, although a poet and a novelist, is remembered more for his academic and critical achievement than for his creative writings.
The comparison between Coleridge and Johnson is obvious in so far as each held sway chiefly by the power of his tongue. The difference between their methods is so marked that it is tempting, but also unnecessary, to judge one to be inferior to the other. Johnson was robust, combative, and concrete; Coleridge was the opposite. The contrast was perhaps in his mind when he said of Johnson: "his bow-wow manner must have had a good deal to do with the effect produced.
Overt intelligent performances are not clues to the workings of minds; they are those workings. Boswell described Johnson's mind when he described how he wrote, talked, ate, fidgeted and fumed. His description was, of course, incomplete, since there were notoriously some thoughts which Johnson kept carefully to himself and there must have been many dreams, daydreams and silent babblings which only Johnson could have recorded and only a James Joyce would wish him to have recorded.
Johnson is wise, Boswell foolish; Johnson warns and abstains, Boswell plunges; Johnson is rather a great man writing than a greatwriter, Boswell is a great writer and an ordinary man; and they are two of a kind, abysmal melancholics and compulsive socializers, afraid of solitude and afraid of death and dissolution, victims of themselves, meant for each other, needing each other, needing evidence and arguments (Boswell is a lawyer, Johnson magisterially dictates to him some of his briefs), making beautiful models of rational discourse out of the useful substance of all they know...
That's sweet. Nice of you.' Johnson put his hands in his pockets. Dove couldn't help but wonder if he was massaging a sore bag of testicles. Dove looked around, and Johnson shuffled his feet. It seemed neither knew what to say, but she hoped neither wanted to part ways either. Johnson's default was always medical. 'How's your infection?' Die. Die. Kill me. 'It's... cleared up... nicely.' Dove twisted her hand into her hair.
Dove held out a hand to Johnson, and he took it-not because they were fleeing a fire and not because she was holding a million dollars. He took her hand to wrap his fingers around hers. His long, long fingers. Her knees went a little watery. Johnson placed a hand on her lower back to steady her. Her ass went a little watery. The trip up her stairs took longer than Ulysses on his epic journey. Johnson took the keys from her hand and opened her door.
My recurring nightmare is that someday I will be faced with a panel: Franklin Roosevelt, John Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson all of whom will be telling me everything I got wrong about them. I know that Johnson's out there saying, 'Why is it that what you wrote about the Kennedys is twice as long as the book you wrote about me?'
Doris Kearns Goodwin
My recurring nightmare is that someday I will be faced with a panel: Franklin Roosevelt, John Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson all of whom will be telling me everything I got wrong about them. I know that Johnson's out there saying, 'Why is it that what you wrote about the Kennedys is twice as long as the book you wrote about me?
Doris Kearns Goodwin
One doesn't simply write about Lyndon Johnson. You get the Johnson treatment from beyond the grave - arm around you, nose to nose. I should admit that he also reminds me of my father, quite an overbearing and narcissistic character. And in some ways, he reminds me of myself. Another workaholic.
...Catholicism is like Howard Johnson, and what they have are these franchises and they give all these people different franchises in the different countries but they have one government, and when you buy the Howard Johnson franchise you can apply it to the geography - whatever's cool for that area - and then you, you know, pay the bread to the main office.
Moms get their fair share of conflicting advice, with a heaping of unsolicited advice. Parents debate the pros/cons of different types of disposable diapers, whether the supposed carcinogens in Johnson & Johnson baby products hurt their kids who used it, which method of sleep training to use.
In employing the long sentence the inexperienced writer should not strain after the heavy, ponderous type. Johnson and Carlyle used such a type, but remember, an ordinary mortal cannot wield the sledge hammer of a giant. Johnson and Carlyle were intellectual giants and few can hope to stand on the same literary pedestal.
I remembered that Johnson had declared portrait painting to be an improper employment for a woman. 'Public practice of any art and staring in men's faces is very indelicate in a female, ' he had said. Well I'd seen Dr. Johnson's face in the book's frontispiece and I couldn't imagine anyone male or female wanting to stare into it for any length of time -the man was an absolute toad.
After graduate school, I joined Johnson & Wales University in Rhode Island as an assistant professor, but I continued to program in addition to teaching and working on research. I built a program that crawled job boards to determine which skills employers value, which helped Johnson & Wales explore ways to improve its curriculum.
It's almost hard to imagine anything more undemocratic than the view that political officials should not debate American wars in public, but only express concerns 'privately with the administration.' That's just a small sliver of Johnson's radicalism: replacing Feingold in the Senate with Ron Johnson would be a civil liberties travesty analogous to the economic travesty from, say, replacing Bernie Sanders with Lloyd Blankfein.
At most corporations if you make an acquisition and it turns out to be a disaster, all the paperwork and presentations that caused the dumb acquisition to be made are quickly forgotten. You've got denial, you've got everything in the world. You've got Pavlovian association tendency. Nobody even wants to even be associated with the damned thing or even mention it. At Johnson & Johnson, they make everybody revisit their old acquisitions and wade through the presentations. That is a very smart thing to do. And by the way, I do the same thing routinely.
Swinburne, by the way, when a very young man, had gone to Walter Savage Landor, then a very old man, and been given the poet's blessing he asked for; and Landor when a child had been patted on the head by Dr Samuel Johnson; and Johnson when a child had been taken to London to be touched by Queen Anne for scrofula, the King's evil; and Queen Anne when a child...
Addison writes with the ease of a gentleman. His readers fancy that a wise and accomplished companion is talking to them; so thathe insinuates his sentiments and taste into their minds by an imperceptible influence. Johnson writes like a teacher. He dictates to his readers as if from an academical chair. They attend with awe and admiration; and his precepts are impressed upon them by his commanding eloquence. Addison's style, like a light wine, pleases everybody from the first. Johnson's, like a liquor of more body, seems too strong at first, but, by degrees, is highly relished.
Louis 'Thunder Thumbs' Johnson was one of the greatest bass players to ever pick up the instrument, as a member of the Brothers Johnson, we shared decades of magical times working together in the studio and touring the world. From my albums 'Body Heat' and 'Mellow Madness,' to their platinum albums 'Look Out for #1,' 'Right On Time,' 'Blam' and 'Light Up the Night,' which I produced, to Michael's solo debut 'Off the Wall,' I considered Louis a core member of my production team. He was a dear and beloved friend and brother, and I will miss his presence and joy of life every day.