Saturday, May 21, 2011

A work of art that contains theories is like an object on which the price tag has been left.
- Alexander Pope, born on this date in 1688


  1. And yet Pope himself these days reads very much like a didactic, ideology-driven poet. Another example of unconscious projection onto others what one knows to be true about oneself? Or maybe he aspired to be more than he knew he was. . . .

    It is a valid point, though, and it describes a lot of what's wrong with poetry (and fiction) nowadays: it's way too theory-driven, a lot of the time. I love the price-tag analogy, though. That's (ahem) priceless!

  2. Donald7:34 PM

    Pope or Proust? The internet can't decide. It doesn't sound like Pope...

  3. The OED's earliest source for the term "price tag" is from 1880.

  4. Maria Paganini-Ambord quotes this sentence in her Reading Proust: in search of the wolf-fish:

    She cites Remembrance of things past (Moncrieff/Kilmartin translation):


    Here's the sentence from the Moncrieff translation:

    "A book in which there are theories is like an article from which the price mark has not been removed."