Looking more into this age of England
One distinguished American scholar argues that the “true Augustans” saw in “Horace’s [65 bc–8 bc] poetry a concentrated image of a life and civilization to which they more or less consciously aspired.”
Another day of formulating how we might be able to have a renaissance in this hopeless disaster of a country.
Remember Alexander Pope?
The poem celebrates a goddess Dulness and the progress of her chosen agents as they bring decay, imbecility, and tastelessness to the Kingdom of Great Britain.
The ancients stimulated them to see beyond their own time, and to ridicule it.
This can be seen in a similar light as my previous post about myth. Going back to the primordial reality and bring it to the present. Except someone like Horace isn’t a myth, he was a real guy. And you saw yesterday with More that there’s a double-sense to this- one rehabilitates both Augustan England and Augustan Rome.
Along the way, Pope recognizes the competing strengths of British literature and the political weakness of the great Roman Augustans who celebrated a tyrant.
One can use the ancients to discover who moderns really are. The contrast sharpens the clarity of both the virtues and flaws of ancient and modern times.
it will be found true, that in every age, the highest character for sense and learning has been obtain’d by those who have been most indebted to them.
It’s the rule rather than the exception to find great minds were influenced by the ancients, in my experience.
Pope again on the ancients
Mankind was not united by the Bonds of a rational Society
So what IS a rational society then? Seeing their world prompts one to wonder that.
We’re so lucky to have a “double” primordial origin
We have the ancients and the moderns, and we’re postmoderns that can learn from both.
This is a zoom-out kind of post given that I’m often detailing the ideas of an ancient or modern.
Unironically saying we need to create the conditions for a renaissance? Yes, I’m not irony-poisoned. I really want that. This is one the key ingredients that I’m describing here. You can be lazy and consume garbage all day instead. It’s possible to sketch the outlines of a “science of cultural renewal”.
I love to learn from them what NOT to do – many of you could learn from this
Seeing these slavish flatterers is one of the things that freed Pope- this is giving me a laugh