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Highways and Rivers Bureau

by LiveModern Webmaster last modified Aug 02, 2012 01:04 AM
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by Geoff Manaugh ( last modified Aug 01, 2012



In the Gilbert Highet book mentioned previously, Highet dedicates a chapter to the poetry of Catullus, including a brief biographical aside on Catullus's time spent, somewhat surreally, as an imperial administrator in Bithynia, or northwest Turkey. Here, Highet inserts a paranthetical aside, hoping to draw a comparison that would suggest an entire and, as it happens, incredibly interesting parallel history for European literature: "(Imagine Lord Byron as assistant principal of the Highways and Rivers Bureau of a small province in India.)" Imagine, indeed, Byron in the Himalayas, writing of river meanders and mountain forts, deltas the size of whole English counties and flooded step wells, and the poetry that might result.




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