terça-feira, 27 de dezembro de 2011

Forgot the cry of gulls [...] and the profit and loss.

The point is that you can find such lamentations [sobre o declínio dos 'Clássicos'] or anxieties almost anywhere you look in the history of the classical tradition. As is well known, Thomas Jefferson, in 1782, justified the prominence of the classics in his own educational curriculum partly because of what was happening in Europe: “The learning Greek and Latin, I am told, is going into disuse in Europe. I know not what their manners and occupations may call for: but it would be very ill-judged in us to follow their example in this instance.”
All this seems almost preposterous to us; for, in our terms, these are voices from the Golden Age of classical study and understanding, the age that we have lost. But they are an important reminder of one of the most important aspects of the symbolic register of the classics: that sense of imminent loss, the terrifying fragility of our connections with distant antiquity (always in danger of rupture), the fear of the barbarians at the gates and that we are simply not up to the preservation of what we value. That is to say, tracts on the decline of the classics are not commentaries upon it, they are debates within it: they are in part the expressions of the loss and longing and the nostalgia that have always tinged classical studies.
Aqui. Com agradecimentos à Ália.

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