Thursday, June 20, 2013

Distasteful Reading

In a recent conversation someone bemoaned to me the difficulty of shifting through hundreds of pages of utterly odious material written in unbearably bad prose. I gathered from the conversation that he would rather search the sewer for discarded gems. It reminded me of a similar sentiment expressed by A. E. Housman talking of Kaspar von Barth:
To read 3000 tall columns of close print by a third-rate scholar is no proper occupation for mortals. (A. E. Housman, Manilius [Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1937], 1:xv.)