Thursday, September 15, 2016


Reading as Conversation

Erasmus, Adages I vi 1 to I x 100, translated and annotated by R.A.B. Mynors (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1989), p. 268 (I x 74 Corrumpunt mores bonos colloquia prava = Evil communications corrupt good manners):
And so I never remember reading an utterance by any famous philosopher which seems to me fit to be compared with words my friend John Colet, a man of equal scholarship and integrity, used to repeat: 'We are, what we are made by our daily conversation: we are shaped by what we hear round us every day.' And what he said about conversation is also to be understood of what we read. Those who spend their whole lives on gentile literature end up as pagans; those who read nothing but filthy books must needs develop in their own characters a streak of filth. For reading surely is a kind of conversation.
In Latin:
Proinde nullum adhuc apophthegma philosophorum memini legere, quod mihi videatur cum illo conferendum, quod Ioannes Coletus meus, vir pariter et eruditus et incorruptus, subinde dictitare consueuit 'Tales nos esse, qualia sunt quotidiana colloquia, tales euadere, qualia frequenter audimus'. Iam vero quod de colloquio dictum est, idem oportet et de studiis accipere. Qui vitam omnem in ethnicis conterunt literis, gentiles euadunt. Qui praeter obscoenos autores nil euoluunt, moribus obscoenis reddantur oportet. Etenim lectio colloquium quoddam esse videtur.

<< Home
Newer›  ‹Older

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