D.S. Carne-Ross (1921-2010), "Three Preludes for Pindar," Arion
2.2 (1975) 160-193 (at 166):
In great poetry a word is like a stone thrown into a
pool; it is very difficult to cut off its spread of meaning at a predetermined point.
Id. (at 174):
Let us suppose we are reading the passage with a beginner.*
* I play this game (as it must seem) quite seriously because I
think it the best way not perhaps, quite, of learning Greek but of
discovering that you very much want to learn Greek.
Id. (at 180):
He has the reputation of being
"difficult" and no doubt he is; one should add that he is
also, sometimes, simply very odd, author of some of the
queerest Greek in the canon.
Id. (at 182):
We all learn to read Greek by
looking up words in the lexicon. We know or think we
know what Greek words mean because the Greeks themselves seem quite soon to have had trouble understanding their classical literature and needed the help of the
commentaries which the learning of Alexandria provided.
Our own tradition of scholarship is built up from that
base. What this means is that almost from the beginning
the difficult Greek of the great writers was faced by the easy explanatory Greek of the commentator.
Id. (at 184):
Greek literature has of course been studied
with enormous care for centuries but one sometimes
suspects that too often it has been the object of the
wrong kind of attention. There are things in the ancient
poets which a quite ignorant reader could catch and
enjoy but which the learned seem not to notice.
Id. (at 185-186):
Greek scholarship, it sometimes seems, is almost over,
its long task nearly done. There is also a sense in which
the understanding of Greek literature and of the Greek
language has hardly begun. Or needs beginning again,
along different lines. I do not dare to say that we should
begin by throwing away the lexica and commentaries
and libraries of learned studies—while jealously preserving the concordances. What we should try to do is risk
as direct a confrontation with the words of the texts as we can, resolutely setting aside everything that stands
between those texts and ourselves.