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Small Talk at Wreyland Volume 2

PDF This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can usually download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1921 edition. Excerpt: ...me down to 735 B.C., with the first Greek colony in Sicily on the little headland there, and all that this portended for Carthage and for Rome. Being a real poet, Goethe only talks geology about the rocks at Aci, and rather regrets he did not picnic there and hammer off some specimens of zeolite. He says the Taormina scenery will provide him with a setting for his play: he will model Ulysses on himself, his own conversation being quite as entertaining and instructive as anything Ulysses can have said to the Phaeacians; and he will model Nausicaa on the ladies he left broken-hearted at each place where he stayed. A poet ought not to disclose the sources of his inspiration. One day Petrarch was thinking of Laura till his eyes were filled with tears, and he walked into a brook he did not see: hence Del mar Tirreno. And one day Toplady got underneath a rock and kept dry in a storm: hence Rock of Ages. Toplady was here the wiser man, and the better poet too, for he says nothing of the rain, whereas Petrarch talks of his wet feet. Goethe has disclosed his sources here; and his setting for the play seems just as inappropriate as his heroine and hero. The ancients were convinced that Corfu was Phasacia, and there is a certain austerity about Corfu that exactly suits the theme; whereas Taormina is all riotous luxuriance, befitting a Cyclops or a Satyr, but not Nausicaa. And surely Ulysses and Nausicaa are worlds away from Goethe and the ladies who adored him. Croce has called him 'gran poeta' and 'borghese' also, that is, 'bourgeois' or 'middleclass'; and I think it hits him off. Tradition has made Homer old and blind, and knows nothing of his maturity or youth. And from this I gather that he made his reputation late in life; and I suspect he made...

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