Sunday, March 22, 2015


The Prison of the Zeitgeist

C.S. Lewis (1898-1963), The Allegory of Love (1936; rpt. Oxford University Press, 1951), pp. 89-90 (footnote omitted):
Hence, over all the really fine qualities of these poets, lies the loathsome trail of the rhetorician—the infuriating derangement of every sentence from its natural order, the fantastic choice of vocabulary, the anadiplosis, the sententia, and the amplificatio. They are all terribly obedient to the rhetor's precept varius sis et tamen idem. Their reader must have endless patience and dig deep if he is to find the real merits that lie buried beneath the 'curious terms', the 'fresh colours', the 'sugared rhetoric', and all the other tasteless foolery which corrupts the 'literary' Latin of the time, as it was later to corrupt the vernacular. Yet the task is worth attempting; for surely to be indulgent to mere fashion in other periods, and merciless to it in our own, is the first step we can make out of the prison of the Zeitgeist?

<< Home
Newer›  ‹Older

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?