Thursday, December 28, 2006

Speak, Memory

I've always been interested in the interaction between a biographer and his still-living subject. I read Boswell's Presumptuous Task last year and really enjoyed the window it opened into Johnson's Britain and the relationship between the two men. A special bonus is that I feel less stupid now for never having actually read the Life of Johnson (although Laura will tell you that a copy has occupied a truly prodigious amount of space on my bedside table for some time now).

George Bush has recently learned that even hack biographers can turn on you when it suits their financial purposes. It is only a matter of time before Hannity, Coulter and their hellbound ilk follow suit. A much worthier subject, Nadine Gordimer, has recently learned a similar lesson. Yet another reason to put off choosing my Boswell.

1 comment:

Tripp said...

I too have an unread but rather old copy of Boswell's book on my shelf. It has survived numerous purges, and may be my longest standing unread book.

Poor Gordimer. I think it best to avoid biographers, although it's not as if I will have one.