May 16, 2006

What I’m Reading: Horace

Filed under: Uncategorized — crcb @ 4:19 pm
Tags: ,

The Works of Horace.
In translation, of course, I don't read Latin. It's an old book, a compilation of translations ranging from the sixteenth century to the early twentieth. (Louis Untermeyer is one of the translators. He's better known as an anthologist than as a poet, but he was equally mediocre in both roles. He's the target of a satire by e. e. cummings, "mr u will not be missed. …") It's always risky to judge a poet from translations or from a couple of millenia away. Nevertheless, I'm developing an active dislike of Horace, or at least of his persona. I know better than to judge him by my culture's values — values of which he wasn't aware — but his easy acceptance of slavery and his odes to tyrants leave a bad taste. When he's not hard to take, he's boring. Nevertheless, there are aesthetic thrills here and there, and I'd probably find many more if I could read him in the original.


Leave a Comment »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: