Edited By Wojciech Jasiakiewicz and Jakub Lipski
Samuel Johnson and Voltaire’s “Petty Cavils” on English literature
The poetic genius of the English is, up to now, like a bushy tree planted by Nature, throwing out a thousand branches and growing unsymmetrically with strength. It dies if you try to force its nature and to clip it like one of the trees in the Marly gardens. –Voltaire, Discourse on Tragedy (1731)
The work of a correct and regular writer is a garden accurately formed and diligently planted […] the composition of Shakespeare is a forest, in which oaks extend their branches, and pines tower in the air, interspersed sometimes with weeds and brambles. – Johnson, Preface to Shakespeare (1765)
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.
Do you have any questions? Contact us.Or login to access all content.