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Martin Kevorkian, Chair CAL 226, Mailcode B5000, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-4991

Fall 2009

E 379N • Johnson and Boswell

Unique Days Time Location Instructor

Garrison, J

Course Description

Please refer to the course schedule for course days, time, room location, prerequisites and possible cross-listings:

Offered in celebration of Samuel Johnson's 300th birthday, this course will consider Johnson as the author of a remarkable array of works in different genres and as the subject of the greatest biography ever written. We will proceed chronologically, taking the year 1763 - the year in which Boswell met Johnson – as the hinge of the course: the first half will be devoted to Johnson as poet, essayist, fiction writer, and lexicographer; the second half will focus on Boswell’s journals and his Life of Johnson. We will bring the two together in reading the contrasting accounts of their journey in 1773 to the western islands of Scotland, and will conclude by comparing their approaches to biography by reference to Johnson’s last great work, the Lives of the Poets.

Grading Policy

Reading journal (25%); Two short papers (20% each); One longer paper (25%); Attendance and contribution (10%)


Johnson, Samuel Johnson: Selected Poetry and Prose, ed. Brady and Wimsatt; Johnson, Selected Essays from the Rambler, Adventurer, and Idler, ed. Bate; Boswell, The Life of Samuel Johnson, ed. Womersley; Boswell, The London Journal, ed. Pottle; Boswell, The Journals of James Boswell, ed. Wain; Johnson and Boswell, A Journey to the Western Islands of Scotland and Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides with Samuel Johnson, ed. Levi


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