Friday, March 18, 2011

Virgil - The Aeneid

"So I didn't read ALL of it."

"The battle scenes were depicted too well"

"There are a lot of Greek classics that are read. Here is a Roman classic that tries to usurp Greece's glory with a bit of a smear campaign."

"it seems I need something with a bit of vigour to keep me going, but this just got limper and limper"


"In my freshman year at Whitman, I was asked to read the Aeneid and write a paper on it.

I tried very, very hard. I read through Book One. Then I decided that I would rather flunk out of college or kill myself than endure any more of it."

"I really really really tried. But, I guess that I am not there."

"He's a badfic writer. ... I swear, he's like the worst kind of fanfic writer in the world. He takes all his situations from other, better writers - well, I know there's another writer the Aenied was based on, but as I can't remember his name I can't actually look him up and decide whether he is a better writer. Pretend that he is for the sake of the argument - and sticks a bloody Mary Sue in there to make the whole mess so much better. His mother's a goddess (Venus), people fall over themselves to either help him or kill him, he walks out of situations that would have - and usually did - kill anyone else, he's an excellent fighter, he's well known for his piety, his archnemesis is a goddess (Juno), and somehow, even though he was never mentioned in the Iliad, everyone in the world knows who he is! ghsn;dhjfdh ... Yes, it was during this book that BITCH CAN'T WRITE started appearing on my notes. However did you guess."

"Read a children's version and hated the whole Gods-interfering-fate thing"

"I understand it's important, but this isn't most people's idea of a sit-down-and-read-it-all novel."

"Dido starts off perfect and ends up insane and dead with no real explanation in between ...
If you really want to know why I can't stand Virgil and Aeneas, book four is the only one you really need to read. It's annoying, it destroys the characterisation he's already set up, it makes Aeneas look like a bitchy Mary Sue, it reduces Dido from a strong, competent woman to one who stabs herself and throws herself onto a fire because she's being left by a man who refuses to even he admits he loves her on the page. It's my example of how not to write a romance, and definitely how not to write one that's you want to end badly and have the man come out looking anywhere near good.

I just. ARGH. It's terrible and horrible and I hate it with the fire of a thousand suns.1


"Virgil never finished it. Before he died he ordered the incomplete manuscript to be destroyed. This book shouldn't even exist!"

"It's as if George W. Bush, after being adjudicated the U.S. Presidency in 2000 (instead of winning the election), had commissioned popular author of the day J.K. Rowlins to write that America had been founded by wizards, and one of those wizards was Bush's great-great-great-great-great grandfather. I know what my reaction to that would be."

"From this novel, I learned that it is possible to use fate as a theme within a work."

"You can tell it's more recent than Homer, but still: what these classics are lacking is observation. It's all plot -- and don't forget, not much happened in the old days except sailing and feasting!"

"Um, my knowledge of Latin is non-existant"


"takes 'Armis virumque' and gets 'I sing of warfare and a man at war'?"


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