Tuesday, July 06, 2021


A Renegade to the True Muse

Robert Graves, "The Virgil Cult," Virginia Quarterly Review 38.1 (Winter 1962) 13-35 (at 14):
Why Virgil's poems have for the last two thousand years exercised so great an influence on our Western culture is, paradoxically, because he was a renegade to the true Muse. His pliability; his subservience; his narrowness; his denial of that stubborn imaginative freedom which the true poets who preceded him had prized; his perfect lack of originality, courage, humour, or even animal spirits: these were the negative qualities which first commended him to government circles, and have kept him in favour ever since.

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