Friday, November 19, 2004

an oddity of the ancient world: hypercolor aminals

man, it's been awhile.


i was just reading the fourth eclogue and came to the passage in ll.43ff. on the chromatically versatile lambs and rams. though i like vergil quite a lot, i'm afraid i have to agree, contra williams, with t.e. page's assessment (and even if i didn't agree, i would probably reproduce it here anyway, because it's just such a jolly-good piece of writing:

There is only a step from the sublime to the ridiculous and Virgil has here decidedly taken it. According to Spinoza's famous formula 'Art' may no doubt be sometimes best defined as 'that which is not nature', and this picture of an earthly paradise bespeckled with purple, yellow, and scarlet rams might have suggested a warning to much medieval and modern extravagance which has parodied nature under the name of Art.

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