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Sunday, 16 December 2007


1- How much time did it take you to prepare and write this post? And how many books were open? Just curious.

2- I have no more memories of the Odes from my school years, I remember other authors but not Horace.

3- I didn't comment this when I first read it because I was trying to remember Horace's sentence (re 'whose monument, in his own phrase, is more lasting than bronze'). I was quite confident because I have a good memory and this sentence is well-known but sadly I failed at it. Fancy knowing how the process went through?
At first, I didn't remember nor the Latin sentence neither the meaning but I kept searching mentally.
A few days later, one word was recalled (perennius, for lasting longer than) and I knew it was the last word of the sentence.
Then two days later, I woke up one morning recalling another word (monumenta, for monument). And I knew that those two words were linked: a monument lasting longer than...bronze.
Then I remembered the scheme of the sentence: ....... monumenta 'bronze' perennius.
Then I remembered the meaning of the sentence, which is (roughly translated) 'I made a monument lasting longer than bronze'. And Horace was speaking of his poetry, of course.
It took a week before I could recall the two left missing words and then I obtained this:
XXXXXX monumenta aere perennius
I waited several days before checking because I was not really sure and was waiting for some improvement to come. I kept thinking about that regularly during the following days but nothing happened. So I decided to check and... in fact the first word was wrong and it was not 'monumenta' (plural) but 'monumentum' (singular). I consider this last mistake inforgiveable because I knew it was 'a monument' and not 'momnuments'.
The right sentence is 'Exegi monumentum aere perennius'.
Well, at least I had some fun and this blog is definitely least for me.

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  • Nothing is of greater consolation to the author of a novel than the disovery of readings he had not conceived but which are then prompted by his readers. (Umberto Eco, Reflections on The Name of the Rose)
  • ... relatively few persons in London ... can afford the luxury of one or more servants. No fewer than 3,700,000 have no servants at all, and of the half million that have servants 227,000 have only one. (The Times, 6 June 1895)
  • Standing among savage scenery, the hotel offers stupendous revelations. There is a French widow in every bedroom, affording delightful prospects. (Tyrolean inn brochure, according to Gerard Hoffnung)
  • (A doctor is at an elderly relative's deathbed) "The old sawbones, eh?" he bellowed ... "Just in the nick, perhaps. Haul the old girl back by the short hairs, if you ask me. Devilish smart at his work ... Always take a fence with more confidence when I know he's out with us."
  • Too often, when a man of Monty Godkin's mental powers is plunged in thought, nothing happens at all. The machinery just whirs for a while, and that is the end of it. (P G Wodehouse, Heavy Weather)
  • ...the breed that take their pleasures as Saint Laurence took his grid (Kipling, The Five nations)

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