mai 21, 2013

Ignotum per æque ignotum

'Out of the stories of Greek myth modern poets and painters have constructed new “classical” worlds, not, however, really classical, but transmuted in their crucibles and tempered into romanticism. In spirit, if not in letter, the legends told and painted by the new artists are as unlike the old, as the Arcadia of the Renaissance is unlike the Arcadia of geography. But it is from the new vessels that we drink in our early childhood. By the time we can read Greek literature for ourselves, our imaginations are dyed with romantic colours; the poetry of Homer and Euripides is laden with imported qualities; the light of antiquity comes to us through painted panes. If we do not take good heed, the impression produced by Tennyson’s Lotos Eaters, a poem trembling with modern emotion, will imperceptibly adulterate the nature of our pleasure in the passage of Homer’s Lotophagoi with the melancholy languor of the afternoon.'

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