Tag Archives: Virgil

Statius: “Achilleid”

This 1st-century AD Latin poet died after writing a book and a half of his epic on Achilles; intended no doubt to build on the success of his Thebaid, about the civil war between the sons of Oedipus Polynices and … Continue reading

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“The Human Chain” by Seamus Heaney

This, Heaney’s final collection, shows the poet at his most self-effacing, almost writing himself out of history, restricting his subject matter and themes to the narrowest, becoming a palimpsest for older, greater, thoughts to travel via his poems.

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“The Aeneid” by Virgil

Strange to confess, but this is the first time I’ve read the entire poem cover to cover (in English, quickly – several decades ago I’d read it all in Latin over a number of weeks). It came out other than … Continue reading

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“What is a Classic?” T.S. Eliot

Lecture to the Virgil Society in 1944, in its second year. Starts long-Eliotly, with lots of Latin-based words and the kind of categorising I always imagine is rife in the German philosophers I haven’t read, but when he gets on … Continue reading

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“Latin forms of address from Plautus to Apuleius” by Eleanor Dickey

Beautifully written and produced – hardly a single typo throughout. Her introduction is a fascinating survey of forms of address across languages, and is particularly interesting on English. Although much of the detail is there more for scholarly completeness than … Continue reading

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“Smiley’s People” by John le Carré

Developing to some kind of resolution the story of Smiley and Karla, subtly making clearer the binary connections between them. P450 tries to make this explicit: Karla’s being brought down by Smiley’s defining compassion; Smiley’s being somehow damaged by his … Continue reading

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