"Then it is dark; a night where kings in golden suits ride elephants over the mountains." - John Cheever

Thursday, January 31, 2008

pliny the elder

Have been reading selected extracts from Natural History by pliny the elder, as part of an attempt this year to read the classics. It's actually well worth looking at - a fascinating and often quite charming mixture of well-grounded and factually informative observations described with typical Roman rationalism and confidence (for instance, there is a section which mocks the credulity of the Greeks for believing in werewolves) coupled with the most ludicrous accounts of unicorns, giant sea monsters, talking horses and much else besides.

1 comment:

John said...

Cool Tom - ave you tried reading any Seneca btw, he's supposed to be pretty good.

I just read the most amazing short story by Wm Faulkner. It's called "Turnabout" and is about a couple of US airforce men encountering a Britsh torpedo boat crew in WWI. The situation they end up in toward the end is about the most brain shattering thing I've ever read. I'll try and scan in the text from the yellowing pages of my "Men at War" paperback in due course...