Here friends of Anthony W. Johnson honour him as a re-embodiment of the polymathic artist-scholar figure once observable in Ben Jonson, on whom he has done some of his most distinctive work. Part I of the book reflects his strong grounding in English literature and culture of the seventeenth century, with essays, not only on Ben Jonson, but also on university drama, on grammar school drama, and on humanist literary taste. Part II responds to his pioneering flights of culture-imagological time-travel to other periods, with essays on riddles through the ages, on Matthew Arnold’s doubts about Homeric pictorialism, and on anciently comic elements in George Gissing’s urban fiction. Part III celebrates his importance, both as scholar and artist, for the present day, with essays extending imagological analysis to the singer Nick Drake, to the avant-garde Danish poet Morten Søkilde, and to Sean S. Baker’s film Tangerine, plus a climactic celebration of Johnson’s own performances on solo violin and guitar as augmented by self-recording.
- Johnson, Anthony William