Defending the 12th century since the 14th; blogging since the 21st.

Catholicism, Conservatism, the Middle Ages, Opera, and Historical and Literary Objets d'Art blogged by a suburban dad who teaches law and writes stuff.

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Who was Cacciaguida? See Dante's PARADISO, Cantos XV, XVI, & XVII.

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Sunday, January 28, 2007
Poetry Corner. Or: Wills Watch (NR used to have a semi-regular column by this title following the antics of the celebrated Jesuit apostate):

In the February issue of Poetry magazine, Wills gives a positive review to the new Fagles translation of The Aeneid (which may be very good anyway, for all I know). In the course of it, this most literate of AmChurch's prophets announces:
Virgil stresses the costs of empire without undermining its worth (which we cannot now accept -- any more than we accept Dante's theology of hell while reading him).
Tf we don't! (Both.) What joy to live in a world so much bigger than Mr. Wills'.

Oh, and btw Garry, it's "Hell," not "hell." It's a place, you know, like Scarsdale. (Hat-tip for that line: early NR writer Ralph de Toledano.)

Wills also bitterly dismisses the classic Homer translations by Richmond Lattimore. Well of course: they're literal, right down to the replication of classical hexameter. If you want "What Homer (or Virgil) Should Have Written," the beautiful work of Robert Fitzgerald (platonic friend of Flannery O'Connor) has not been beaten out by Fagles.