Wednesday, February 03, 2016


Stay Longer

Gilbert Murray (1866-1957), Religio Grammatici. The Religion of a Man of Letters. Presidential Address to the Classical Association, January 8, 1918 (London: Allen and Unwin, 1918), p. 10:
One is tempted to think of the end of "Faust": was not the graving of a thing on brass or stone, was not even the painting of a reindeer in the depths of a palaeolithic cave, a practical, though imperfect, method of saying to the moment, "Verweile doch, Du bist so schön" ("Stay longer, thou art so beautiful")?
Id., pp. 14-15:
Both soul and body are preserved, imperfectly of course, in grammata, or letters; in a long series of marks scratched, daubed, engraved, written, or printed, stretching from the inscribed bone implements and painted rocks of prehistoric man through the great literatures of the world down to this morning's newspaper and the manuscript from which I am reading — marks which have their own history also and their own vast varieties. And "the office of the art grammatikê is so to deal with the grammata as to recover from them all that can be recovered of that which they have saved from oblivion, to reinstate as far as possible the spoken word in its first impressiveness and musicalness."1

1 Rutherford, History of Annotation, p. 12.
Id., p. 45:
The traditio, the handing-down of the intellectual acquisitions of the human race from one generation to another, the constant selection of thoughts and discoveries and feelings and events so precious that they must be made into books, and then of books so precious that they must be copied and re-copied and not allowed to die — the traditio itself is a wonderful and august process, full, no doubt, of abysmal gaps and faults, like all things human, but full also of that strange half-baffled and yet not wholly baffled splendour which marks all the characteristic works of man.

<< Home
Newer›  ‹Older

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