Friday, October 20, 2006


Är helt slut i huvudet (låg vaken hela natten och läste Sassons 'Memoirs of an Infantry Officer') och kan sålunda inte säga något djuplodande idag, utan nöjer mig med att med anledning av den rådande debatten om 'smala' författare som värdelösa parasiter och finansiering av kultur, och den därav resulterande diskussionen på Errata med att citera Juvenalis tankar därom:


Sed vatem egregium, cui non sit publica vena,
qui nihil eitum soleat deducere, nec qui
communi feriat carmen triviale moneta,
hunc, qualem nequeo monstrare et sentio tantum,
anxietate carens animus facit, omnis acerbi
inpatiens, cupidus silvarum aptusque bibendis
fontibus Aonidum. neque enim cantare sub antro
Pierio thyrsumque potest contingere maesta
paupertas atque aeris inops, quo nocte dieque
corpus eget: satur est cum dicit Horatius 'euhoe.'
quis locus ingenio, nisi cum se carmine solo
vexant et dominis Cirrhae Nysaeque feruntur
pectora vestra duas non admittentia curas?
magnae mentis opus nec de lodice paranda
attonitae currus et equos faciesque deorum
aspicere et qualis Rutulum confundat Erinys.
nam si Vergilio puer et tolerabile desset
hospitium, caderent omnes a crinibus hydri,
surda nihil gemeret grave bucina.

Ellenbergers översättning ligger hemma, så ni får nöja er med den i Loeb-utgåvan:

But the outstanding bard- the one with no common
vein of talent, the one who generally spins nothing trite
the one who coins no ordinary song form the public mint,
the likes of whom i cannot point out, but only imagine,
he is the product of a mind free from worry and without bitterness
a mind that longs for the woods and is fit to drink the springs
of the Muses. Unhappy poverty, you see, cannot sing
inside the Pierian cavern or grasp the thyrsus,
it lacks the cash which the body needs, night and day.
Horace was full when he spoke the baccic cry 'Evoë!'
What room is there for genius? None, unless your hearts have
only a single focus, and torment themselves with
poetry alone, swept away by the lords of Cirrha and Nysa.
A great soul, not one perplexed about bying a blanket,
is needed for visions of chariots and horses and the gods' faces,
and the kind of Fury that drove the Rutulian crazy.
After all, if Virgil hadn't had a slave boy and decent lodgings,
all the snakes would have fallen from the Fury's hair,
and no terrifying blast would have sounded from her silent war trumpet.

Så, utan Horatius mättnad, inga epistlar och satirer, och utan Vergilius slavpojke, ingen Aenid.

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