Sunday, April 23, 2017


A Pervasive Despair

Mary R. Lefkowitz, The Victory Ode: An Introduction (Park Ridge: Noyes Press, 1976), "Preface" (no page number):
Anyone who tries to read the odes of Pindar and Bacchylides in the original Greek experiences at first a pervasive despair. Memorable words and phrases strike the ear; the narration of a myth intrigues; but the satisfaction of being able to understand another language and another's process of thought that draws us to the study of antiquity remains tantalizingly unattainable.

Much of the trouble derives from the way we go about reading this difficult literature, armed with dictionaries, surrounded by commentaries and translations.
Id., p. 3:
[N]ot even experienced classicists can comfortably read Pindar and Bacchylides at "sight"...
Related post: Difficulty of Pindar.

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