The latest news from the JSA
The new formula for the annual seminar program is here to stay, following an enthusiastic reception from a large attendance at the 2010 seminar held at the English Speaking Union on July 24.
The program started later in the morning, but offered a more varied menu, with only three full-length presentations (40-50 minutes), punctuated by five “stub” papers or readings of 10 to 15 minutes each.
JSA Papers Volume 12 will be available at the Annual General Meeting on Saturday 2 October 2010, free of charge to all Society members. This year’s edition will be in…
Agustin Coletes Blanco, Literary Allusion in Johnson’s Journey to the Western Islands of Scotland. Glasgow: The Grimshaw Press, ISBN 184530 060 2
Professor Coletes Blanco teaches at the University of Oviedo in Spain, and has previously published a Spanish translation of Johnson’s Journey. In this intriguing little publication he has traced more than thirty places in the book where Johnson alludes, sometimes overtly, sometimes more indirectly, to other literary texts.
At the Johnson seminar on July 24, I read people a picture of Johnson through the eyes of Fanny Burney. She noted his likes and dislikes; how he despised the Whigs and their policies, how loyal he was to Oxford University and how derisive of Cambridge men; his poor opinion of the Scots, and so on. So you can imagine how much I enjoyed the anecdote I found in Simon Winchester’s book The Meaning of Everything which I have just finished reading.
The book tells the story of the publication of the huge Oxford English Dictionary, and the years of labour by James Murray and his team to bring it into existence. A skilled amateur philologist, Murray was the son of a linen draper, a lowland Scot and a Calvinist. He claimed to have had a dream that illustrated Samuel Johnson’s likely reaction to Murray’s appointment in 1879 as the editor of the Dictionary.
It was a great pleasure to see so many of you at the Annual Seminar in July. I thought that the new format worked very well. Many new faces were to be seen, including some younger people. After such a momentous year, as was the 300th anniversary in 2009, I believe that we all need to make an extra effort to ensure that the enthusiasm generated over that 12 months is continued into the future. Hopefully, by the time the next seminar rolls around, Elizabeth and I will be living in Victoria. I hope to take a much more active part in the Society when we complete our move.
JSA committee member Bryan Reid was interviewed by ABC Radio National on the history and aims of the JSA. Follow this link to hear the broadcast on the Lingua Franca session, presented…
The 2010 Fleeman Memorial lecture will be delivered by Professor John Wiltshire after our Annual General Meeting at the English Speaking Union 146 West Toorak Road, South Yarra at 2.30pm on Saturday,October 2.
John’s subject will be Samuel Johnson and Literary Ladies, a discussion of Johnson’s encouragement to, and friendship with, intellectual women.
Samuel Johnson and the Wide Brown Land was the Title of a lecture given by our Western Idler, John Byrne, on March 17 to the institute of Advanced Studies at the university of Western Australia.
In the lecture, John discussed the faint but fascinating presence of Johnson and his circle in this continent, from the earliest days of English exploration and settlement on the east coast, through to the growth of Johnsonian scholarship to the present day.
Dr Gordon Turnbull was appointed our Patron in 2004. He followed in the distinguished footsteps of Dr David Fleeman and Mary, the Viscountess Eccles. Gordon heads The Boswell Project at the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale. I had the great pleasure of catching up with Gordon at the “Johnson at 300” conference at Pembroke in September last year.