Saturday, April 7, 2018

Gerald of Wales on the writing life

In the preface to The Description of Wales, written in the 1190s, Gerald claims he was slow to gain promotion because  I am so keen on literary pursuits that I pay too little attention to the things of the world…and commented looking over his shoulder at Virgil: 

There is no respect paid anymore to authors, they say, whether they are historians or poets. Now that our leaders are no longer literate, no one they say, has any more time for Humane letters. If you want to become famous today,  you must try some other approach. 

(Second preface to the Description of Wales, trans Thorpe p. 216.)

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