Loving Dr. Johnson
Loving Dr. Johnson uses the enormous popularity of Johnson to understand a singular case of author love and to reflect upon what the love of authors has to do with the love of literature. Helen Deutsch's work is driven by several impulses, among them her affection for both Johnson's work and Boswell's biography of him, and her own distance from the largely male tradition of Johnsonian criticism—a tradition to which she remains indebted and to which Loving Dr. Johnson is ultimately an homage. Limning sharply Johnson's capacious oeuvre, Deutsch's study is also the first of its kind to examine the practices and rituals of Johnsonian societies around the world, wherein Johnson's literary work is now dwarfed by the figure of the writer himself.
An absorbing look at one iconic author and his afterlives, Loving Dr. Johnson will be of enormous value to students of English literature and literary scholars keenly interested in canon formation.
Introduction: The Beginning, in Which Nothing Is Found
1. Johnsonian Romance
2. Style's Body: The Case of Dr. Johnson
3. "Look, my Lord, it comes": Uncritical Reading and Johnsonian Communion
4. The Ephesian Matron and Johnson's Corpse
5. Coda: Anecdotal Errancy, Three Authors