Friday, May 13, 2016


Latin Poetry and Prose

J.S. Phillimore (1873-1926), Some Remarks on Translations and Translators = The English Association, Pamphlet No. 42 (January, 1919), p. 5:
Probably as a rule maturity lasts longer in prose than in poetry. For prose is an institution. Latin poetry, for instance, is at full power from Virgil to Lucan; Lucan is an inventor, enriching his verse out of the losses of prose oratory. But after Lucan nothing of prime greatness is produced in poetry until Prudentius—whose case would take us altogether too long to analyse; but, at any rate, he represents not continuity but a violent adaptation of literary forces into a new form. In Latin prose, on the other hand, it is simply true to say that Jerome and Augustine could drive their ship under all the sail that ever Cicero carried. To call them a decadence is a foolish prejudice only possible to those who never read them. The inspiration is new, but no new expressive power is needed. They inherited that. Expressiveness in prose was maintained for nearly five centuries by the Latins: from Cicero to Augustine is a table-land on the high level.

<< Home
Newer›  ‹Older

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