Posted by Eric » 1 Comment »
I can’t remember if I’ve posted this here before, but don’t feel like checking and came across it again today. It comes from Kathleen Jamieson’s article ‘Jerome, Augustine and the Stesichoran Palinode’ (Rhetorica 5  353-67). On the verbal war between Rufinus and Jerome, she writes:
Reading the apologiae of Rufinus and Jerome leaves one with the sense of having helplessly witnessed the bludgeoning of a child. (p. 359)
Posted by Dennis » Add Comment »
Frank Kermode in the London Review of Books reviews Archie Burnett’s expensive new edition of Housman’s letters. It’s worth reading for many reason, including entertaining bits like this:
He declined all academic and national honours because to accept them would be to admit comparability with other classical scholars who had received them, admiring the attitude of the 17th-century Greek scholar Thomas Gataker who refused a Cambridge doctorate because ‘like Cato the censor he would rather have people ask why he had no statue than why he had one.’ When he came across some self-critical words of T.E. Lawrence in Seven Pillars of Wisdom – ‘there was a craving to be famous; and a horror of being known to like being known’ – he wrote in the margin: ‘This is me.’ So in the course of his life he turned down everything from the OM to the poet laureateship, not to speak of many honorary doctorates. And he refused all invitations to give lectures except for the ones that he conceived to be part of his job.
That’s my guy. I’ll leave it to you to find the bit about Wittgenstein and the bathroom.
Posted by Dennis » 2 Comments »
A 57 year old Scotsman spent ten long years watching the man of his dreams from afar before getting up the nerve to confess his feelings in a letter, complete with a classical reference:
Aberdeen Sheriff Court heard the letter Leverett gave Mr Davidson contained references to the Roman poet Catullus and referred to Mr Davidson as the “loveliest guy” and the “cuddliest teddy bear”.
It claimed the victim had shown Leverett “affection over many years” and said there was “a beautiful poem about a young man” who wanted 300,000 kisses.
He must mean Catullus 5, which by my calculation adds up precisely to … ‘many thousands.’ And not only that, they’re to be confounded so that not even the lovers know how many there were. But perhaps Mr. Leverett is just a very talented reader of verse. We should ask for further insights into poetic mysteries.
Before we go, the relevant (ubiquitous) poem for our readers:
- Vivamus mea Lesbia, atque amemus,
- rumoresque senum severiorum
- omnes unius aestimemus assis!
- soles occidere et redire possunt:
- nobis cum semel occidit brevis lux,
- nox est perpetua una dormienda.
- da mi basia mille, deinde centum,
- dein mille altera, dein secunda centum,
- deinde usque altera mille, deinde centum.
- dein, cum milia multa fecerimus,
- conturbabimus illa, ne sciamus,
- aut ne quis malus inuidere possit,
- cum tantum sciat esse basiorum.