Virgil and Those Others

Virgil and Those Others

Virgil and Those Others

Virgil and Those Others

Excerpt

This volume is devoted to the thesis that the Latin classics must be looked upon as literature, as a form of artistic expression, if the full educational and cultural values are to be realized front their pursuit. The literature of any land is obviously intended to be read, 'just as its music is intended to be heard. And yet, the present tendency in educational circles is to do almost everything with Latin except read it. Worthy matters, such. as the study of derivatives, grammar, archaeology, history, and antiquities, are given the attention they deserve, but too frequently they come to be regarded as ultimate goals in themselves, and not as agencies that might be conducive to a better understanding and appreciation of the Latin classics as literature. Even the insistence on translation leaves much to be desired. Employed as a pedagogical necessity in the classroom, it is likely to degenerate into mere transverbalization. It is the sympathetic, intelligent reading of the Latin as Latin, with a fine sense of its literary and artistic qualities, that makes the ideal translation possible. And even then, unless the translator be a creative artist as great as the original author, the reconstruction is likely to be little more than a dim shadow of the original work. Who cares to look through a glass darkly, when it is possible to see face to face?

The celebration of the Virgilian Bimillennium finds us scarcely in readiness for it. While many have studied the Aeneid in school, very few ever read or reread it as poetry. It comes, in fact, as a surprise to the student in college to learn that Latin has in store for the lover of literature the same sort of pleasure and profit that is commonly found in Browning, Shelley, or Keats. But the . . .

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