Monday, August 16, 2010

Such is education

Here's a bit by Roger Pearse, our great commissioner of classical translations, from his engaging post "Why We Need Akkadian" - I've left the part about Akkadian for your enjoyment at his blog; I wish to excerpt this bit about a good book he once read:
I remember the last time I ever went punting at Oxford. I bought, in a now vanished bookshop in St. Clements, an old ‘Everyman’ volume to read. The cover had gone, and someone had recovered it with some brown paper. Written on the brown paper in felt-tip were the words, “A century of English essays”. But I took it with me, and read as we punted into the Cherwell, along the green-brown muddy river and under the trailing trees. I have it still. It introduced me to the essays of Augustine Birrell. These in turn led me to Dr. Johnson, to an appreciation even of Gibbon, whom I might otherwise have known only as a less-than-honest polemicist, and a score more. Such is education, and a university the opportunity to acquire it.

No comments:

Post a Comment