Wednesday, October 04, 2017



Rose Macaulay (1881-1958), Pleasure of Ruins (1953; rpt. New York: Thames and Hudson, 1984), pp. 454-455 (the penultimate sentence of the book):
Ruin must be a fantasy, veiled by the mind's dark imaginings: in the objects that we see before us, we get to agree with St Thomas Aquinas, that quae enim diminutae sunt, hoc ipso turpia sunt, and to feel that, in beauty, wholeness is all.
The Latin itself is in ruins, and it's not just a printer's error, because it appears the same way in two other places in the same book (pp. 12 and 39). Any first-year Latin student could make the correction. Read as follows (from Summa Theologiae 1a.39.8):
quae enim diminuta sunt, hoc ipso turpia sunt.


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