Monday, January 13, 2020


The Writing of Commentaries

Nicholas Horsfall (1946-2019), Virgil, Aeneid 6: A Commentary (Berlin: De Gruyter, 2013), vol. II, p. 628:
The writing of commentaries is a natural retreat for intellectual conservatives: those who cannot get their brains round modern theoretical approaches are left pretty much free to devote themselves to their favourite uses of the genitive, and, to be fair, of other cases too.
Id., p. 639:
Of theory I have no love, of new terminology, a positive dislike and of new techniques which seem to enable any young Virgilian to publish bold, bright pages which prove beyond doubt Virgil's debt to, let us say, Petronius (I jest) at some unlikely point, I cannot speak enough ill.
Readers of my commentaries will notice that I cite some younger Virgilians and not others: I like a page largely jargon-free, I admire accuracy, and good English prose, and I love a fat, well-constructed footnote.
Id., p. 643:
You can only begin to become a competent Virgilian by reading more Greek; one of the great benefits of working on Aen. 6 is the need for immersion in the Myth of Er. And of course, German. Norden's Aeneid 6 is mercifully easy, most of the time...

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