Jason (jcreed) wrote,

More words:

From Tom Stoppard's "Arcadia": "We shed as we pick up, like travellers who must carry everything in their arms, and what we let fall will be picked up by those behind. The procession is very long and life is very short. We die on the march. But there is nothing outside the march so nothing can be lost to it. The missing plays of Sophocles will turn up piece by piece, or be written again in another language."

From Goldhill's "Who needs Greek?": "Why should you care about Erasmus? Let me make a case, as best I can. First of all - and this is not a joking matter - he invented the academic, at least for the modern West. I don't mean the scholarly bore, the trivial questioner, the man - yes, this one usually is a man - who has no connection to the Real World of power and politics. And I am certianly not talking about the job of university lecturer. No, I mean your fantasy of what you might be doing by reading and writing or teaching. The intellectual whose pursuit of truth changes the way that the world is perceived. The writer whose contribution does not mark a massive shift in the cultural and intellectual world but creates it. The teacher whose teaching dominates a culture and whose values are passed across the generations. The very grandest fantasy one could share. Erasmus was the first and greatest international intellectual superstar of the modern West. [...] He was an ambivalent, provocative, polemical figure who divided and dominated European intellectual life. [...] We are all his heirs. [...] But I have another concern, which some might think a touch parochial. I care about Erasmus because he made learning Greek sexy."

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