Monday, May 18, 2020

RIP …

… Peter Dronke obituary | Books | The Guardian. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Though his health declined after Ursula’s death in 2012, he produced unstoppably: a new edition of the Roman 6th-century philosopher Boethiusand a trailblazing in-depth introduction and commentary to the radical ninth-century theologian John Scotus Eriugena (the name means Irish-born). His Periphyseon (On the Natures of the Universe, five volumes, 2012-17) openly dismisses scriptural literalism: it was “too simple-minded, thinking that paradise was some place on earth, that the trees were earthly and the fountains physically perceivable. True Reason laughs at this.”
Then there’s this:
 His first book, for example, Medieval Latin and the Rise of European Love-Lyric (two volumes, 1965–66), argued that far from “courtly love” originating with the troubadours in France, it developed within a stream of poetry and song from demotic Latin and the Arab world, with deep roots far from Provence – in ancient Egypt, Baghdad, Georgia, India and Iceland. Above all, Dronke believed in the power of imagination and acted with exceptional acuity to unfold the beauty and ethics of its creations, from a towering work such as Dante’s Divine Comedy to a little known, anonymous lyrical Lament of Dido.
Good thing no one had warned them about cultural appropriation. They seem to have thought of it in terms of commerce. (Post bumped.)

1 comment:

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