An amusing story about Propertius

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H.E. Nightingale
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An amusing story about Propertius

Post by H.E. Nightingale »

In a letter to the LRB in the 1980s:

Hugh Lloyd-Jones suggests that Oxford has succeeded better than Cambridge in combining critical scholarship with literary interpretation (LRB, 5 February). I was at Oxford in the Fifties and the Rector of my college, Exeter, was E.A. Barber, who brought out an edition of Propertius. When asked what he thought of Propertius as literature, Barber replied: ‘I have no idea. I didn’t bother with the guff side of it.’
Alan Bennett, London NW1

Quite neatly demonstrates the divide that then existed between textual and literary critics. (Manuscripts of Propertius are notoriously corrupted.)

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