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Greene, E.L. (1987). American Imago. XL, 1983: Samuel Johnson's Lives: Its "Nice Doubtfulness." Martin Maner. Pp. 145-157.. Psychoanal Q., 56:424.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: American Imago. XL, 1983: Samuel Johnson's Lives: Its "Nice Doubtfulness." Martin Maner. Pp. 145-157.

(1987). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 56:424

American Imago. XL, 1983: Samuel Johnson's Lives: Its "Nice Doubtfulness." Martin Maner. Pp. 145-157.

Edward L. Greene

Through the examination of this major work of Samuel Johnson, Maner is able to demonstrate how intrinsic characterological qualities of a writer are revealed in his works. An artist's work embodies an attitude about people; behind this lies a style of thinking, and behind that is a style of character. Defining character as that "something" that typifies an individual at his sickest and healthiest, Maner is able to identify a habitually skeptical, argumentative, and dialectic manner everywhere in Johnson's work, and especially in his Lives of the English Poets. This style is simply described as a perceptual, cognitive, and affective "double take": looking, followed by doubting and looking again. Maner illuminates the "niceness" of Johnson's doubting style. While Johnson relished opportunities to display his skepticism, he regularly tempered his judgments with the recognition that misperception and self-deception are typically understandable human traits.

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Article Citation

Greene, E.L. (1987). American Imago. XL, 1983. Psychoanal. Q., 56:424

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