Saturday, January 22, 2011

Written in 1791, cited in 1981

“Nay, Sir, harmless pleasure is the highest praise. Pleasure is a word of dubious import; pleasure is in general dangerous, and pernicious to virtue; to be able therefore to furnish pleasure that is harmless, pleasure pure and unalloyed, is as great a power as men can possess.” -- Samuel Johnson, in response to questioning from John Boswell, appearing in Boswell's Life of the great man, as cited by Christopher Ricks in a review of Philip Norman’s Shout! The True Story of the Beatles. It's a thought worth keeping mind when deciding whether or not to acquire a book for publication.

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