Saturday, May 10, 2014


Latin Translations of Greek Literature

Ezra Pound (1885-1972), "Translators of Greek," Instigations (New York: Boni and Liveright, 1920), pp. 321-356 (at 350):
The Latin can be a whole commentary on the Greek, or at least it can give one the whole parsing and order, and let one proceed at a comforable [sic, read comfortable] rate with but the most rudimentary knowledge of the original language. And I do not think this a trifle; it would be an ill day if men again let the classics go by the board; we should fall into something worse than, or as bad as, the counterreformation: a welter of gum-shoes, and cocoa, and Y.M.C.A. and Webbs, and social theorizing committees, and the general hell of a groggy doctrinaire obfuscation; and the very disagreeablizing of the classics, every pedagogy which puts the masterwork further from us, either by obstructing the schoolboy, or breeding affectation in dilettante readers, works toward such a detestable end.

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