n Acta Classica : Proceedings of the Classical Association of South Africa - Classical Indiscretions: A Millennial Enquiry into the State of the Classics, Maurizio Bettini, translated by John McManamon : book review

Volume 45, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0065-1141
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This slim volume, first published in Italian under the title (1995), is bound to elicit conflicting responses, relating to both matters of style and contents. The manner of exposition is diffuse, and the book recalls in its development a series of essays appearing over time in a literary newspaper rather than a sequence of chapters tightly arranged around a core theme. The relaxed style, humorous delivery, and pervasive irony create a mood more reminiscent of a cultured conversation between knowledgeable peers than of tutorials delivered in earnest. At first reading, a general impression is formed of amused detachment, urbane disapproval of contemporary myths/foibles, and elegantly worn erudition. Indeed, some might contend that the undeniable charm of the style somewhat obfuscates the author's thesis, or even substitutes for me.

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