Textkit Logo

9/11 Memorial misuses Virgil quote

Textkit is a learning community- introduce yourself here. Use the Open Board to introduce yourself, chat about off-topic issues and get to know each other.

Moderators: thesaurus, Jeff Tirey

9/11 Memorial misuses Virgil quote

Postby thesaurus » Thu Apr 07, 2011 8:50 pm

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/07/opini ... er.html?hp

I thought this was an interesting and relevant read, especially given the number of requests for Latin/Greek quotes that people make. In the age of soundbites, I guess context doesn't count for much.
Horae quidem cedunt et dies et menses et anni, nec praeteritum tempus umquam revertitur nec quid sequatur sciri potest. Quod cuique temporis ad vivendum datur, eo debet esse contentus. --Cicero, De Senectute
thesaurus
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 989
Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2006 9:44 pm

Re: 9/11 Memorial misuses Virgil quote

Postby Kasper » Thu Apr 07, 2011 11:16 pm

On the contrary, context counts for all in this instance, and the present context is the commemoration of those who died on 9/11.

One would be hardpressed to find a worthy line in a roman poem about an airplane crashing into a skyscraper. The criticism in the article seems to be typical of those academics whose sole aim is to make some display of their "useless, and pointless, knowledge" (to use another quote).
Kasper
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 799
Joined: Wed Nov 05, 2003 3:01 am
Location: Melbourne

Re: 9/11 Memorial misuses Virgil quote

Postby thesaurus » Fri Apr 08, 2011 1:19 am

Kasper wrote:On the contrary, context counts for all in this instance, and the present context is the commemoration of those who died on 9/11.

One would be hardpressed to find a worthy line in a roman poem about an airplane crashing into a skyscraper. The criticism in the article seems to be typical of those academics whose sole aim is to make some display of their "useless, and pointless, knowledge" (to use another quote).


I agree that it's hard to find an adequate quote, and that this is largely a classicist's pet peeve. However, if we're only concerned with the present context, I don't see a need to quote anything. Why do we need to take a line from a Roman poet? Why not just invent a new sentence for the occasion? They could have a submission contest for New York poets, or something like that.

I think quoting a canonical literary work is an attempt to create a sense of culture and elevation, so you leave yourself open to literary scrutiny if you go down this road. Plus, you leave yourself vulnerable to academic types with nothing better to do. Creating a new statement seems to get around this.
Horae quidem cedunt et dies et menses et anni, nec praeteritum tempus umquam revertitur nec quid sequatur sciri potest. Quod cuique temporis ad vivendum datur, eo debet esse contentus. --Cicero, De Senectute
thesaurus
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 989
Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2006 9:44 pm

Re: 9/11 Memorial misuses Virgil quote

Postby edonnelly » Fri Apr 08, 2011 2:23 am

thesaurus wrote:http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/07/opinion/07alexander.html?hp

I thought this was an interesting and relevant read, especially given the number of requests for Latin/Greek quotes that people make. In the age of soundbites, I guess context doesn't count for much.


Her logic doesn't seem at all persuasive to me. I think the quote is rather appropriate and works well.
The lists:
G'Oogle and the Internet Pharrchive - 1100 or so free Latin and Greek books.
DownLOEBables - Free books from the Loeb Classical Library
User avatar
edonnelly
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 959
Joined: Sun Jan 16, 2005 2:47 am
Location: Music City, USA

Re: 9/11 Memorial misuses Virgil quote

Postby pster » Fri Apr 08, 2011 3:21 am

I think choosing Virgil was appropriate, but I could probably find a better quote from him.
User avatar
pster
Textkit Zealot
 
Posts: 1069
Joined: Wed Oct 07, 2009 3:05 am

Re: 9/11 Memorial misuses Virgil quote

Postby calvinist » Fri Apr 08, 2011 10:55 pm

Thesaurus, I think using a quote from a Roman author is very valid. The US was born out of the Renaissance and the Enlightenment, which reached back to ancient Rome and Greece. It's no accident that the White House has neo-classical architectural influences. In fact, this very website probably wouldn't exist had Rome and Greece not enjoyed the sense of adoration in the West that is the very reason that a quote from Vergil was chosen for such a monument.
Speech is my hammer, bang the world into shape, now let it fall! -Mos Def
User avatar
calvinist
Textkit Fan
 
Posts: 272
Joined: Fri Apr 29, 2005 7:24 pm
Location: San Diego, CA


Return to Open Board

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 31 guests