Samuel Johnson Illustrated is a unique introduction to six of Johnson's allegories featured in the Rambler together with 'The Vision of Theodore, the Hermit of Teneriffe, found in his Cell' which Johnson thought was the best of all he ever wrote. The keynote to the present compilation is the extraordinary imaginative power Johnson instils in his writings which in turn stimulates the reader's own personal creative experience. It is a new approach that draws attention to the influence of post-Newtonian science on mid-eighteenth-century art which valued mental imagery, 'seeing in the mind's eye', just as Newton had done to produce his synthesis of one universal law. For Johnson, too, 'words were images of things' and he often used the power of creative visualisation in an act of contemplation in his allegories. The introduction as well as the analytical notes that precede each text aim to facilitate the reader's understanding of the peculiarities of mid-eighteenth-century aesthetics and of Johnson's own affinity to the arts.
The contributors have also taken into account a striking characteristic of the mid-eighteenth century - that of the affinity between poetry and painting, in the words of Samuel Johnson, 'two sister arts', and the book has benefited from over fifty original illustrations by Dr Ana Stefanova, a psychologist and amateur artist and Svetlan Stefanov, a visual artist. As an inter-disciplinary project, the book has allowed its four contributors to broaden their critical perspective in a truly mid-eighteenth-century fashion, and travelling beyond their own fields of study, they have produced a truly exciting compilation.
Publisher: i2i Publishing
Number of pages: 163
Dimensions: 297 x 210 mm